In Uganda the child is held in high esteem as a source of pride and prestige, wealth from
the girl child's dowry, security from old age and domestic labor. At the same time,
children are seen as property of the family and clearly subordinated to their families and
clans/ child upbringing emphasizes parental power, obedience and long hours of work.
There is discrimination against children based on gender and birth older, and many
parents, teachers and others in charge of children are ignorant about children's right. In
societies weakened by poverty and social fragmentation, these authoritarian relationships
can be the basis for abuse and neglect. Children have no voice and keep quiet when their
rights are infringed upon. They are powerless because of their dependency on adults.
Te integrity of the unit is under considerable pressure from high levels of poverty,
HIV/AIDS, social and political insecurity. Such factors have resulted into, among other
things, reduction in the quality of care given to children by parents, teachers and other
actors involved in children's welfare. Because of this, cases of child abuse, defilement,
child labor and child neglect have increased.
The study focuses on defilement as one form of child abuse. Literature shows that various
ages are being defiled. From the various newspaper reports in Uganda between 1993-
1997 the youngest victim is 9 months while the oldest is 17 years of age.
In most reports, the offenders are usually those who are in close contact with victims.
Fro instance, The Monitor Newspaper reports many defilement cases committed by
teachers, neighbors, close relatives, fathers and house boys.
Although defilement has always been a criminal and moral offence, causes of defilement
have increased and subsequently defilement cases have greatly increased. These include
poverty, HlV/AIDS, drugs and alcohol abuse and break down of culture and negative
cultural practices (Mutiti Alfred Stuart, 1997)
Poverty and loss of parents have been identified as some of the major causes of
defilement. In such situations, the girl child has come to recognize that consent to sex
could be an effective survival tool in economic hardships. Often relationships involving
girls under 18 and older men are underscored by the subtle understanding over the issue
of financial support from the young girl.
In a school environment, sexual relationships with teachers can mean supp01i in paying
school fees, escape from punishments or even other favors linked with academic work.
(The world's Women 1970-1990)
A survey on defilement in Mukono District shows that due to poverty of parents most
families live ion one roomed houses, with very little privacy, which in turn has exposed
children to experiments in early sex (Mutiti Alfred Stuart 1997)
Economic pressures and poverty have also added a new angle to the problem of
defilement. Many girls might be encouraged or persuaded to go into marriage fro
pecuniary benefits or even forced into it at a very tender age by parents expecting dowry.
Indeed bride price in one of the forces that has encouraged this. It was recorded in 1969
that the average age at first marriage for female was 17.7 (Compendium of statistics,
1986). Although this figure is not current, there is no evidence showing n increase in the
age of marriage. On the contrary, it might have even lowered to 13 years. The figure
especially reflects the situation in the rural areas where it must be remembered, most
Ugandans live. Thus early marriages largely motivated by economic reasons have led to
increased vulnerability of the girl child.
It has been discovered that older men are increasingly approaching young school girls for
free and safe sex in the belief that they are HIV/AIDS free. Reports from places like
Masaka and Rakai shows that men pursue girls as young as 10 years. Some of these
actions come from scene of desperation. Faced with the magnitude and severity of the
disease, some men have been known to become completely irrationally, resorting to
desperate measures as mentioned here (World Vision Reports 1993)
Lack of knowledge about sex is yet another problem. Traditionally matters of sex, sex
inf01mation and discussion have always been rather sensitive and even a taboo in
Uganda. In most African societies, the responsibility of passing such information was
relegated to other members of the family, especially the female relatives of the girl's
mother, other than the parents themselves (Ntozi 1992)
Among the Lugbara of northern Uganda, divorced women and older males are the ones responsible for giving instructions regarding sexual intercourse (Ntozi). This clearly shows that children are not talked to about matters of sex by their parents.
This background information testifies to the need to study the problem of sexual abuse of the girl child in depth, in order to determine appropriate social, educational and other corrective programs to reduce its occurrence in Uganda.
WANGUI, M (2021). The Influence Of Print Media Campaigns On The Fight Against The Defilement Of The Girl Child A Case Study Of The Daily Monitor. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/the-influence-of-print-media-campaigns-on-the-fight-against-the-defilement-of-the-girl-child-a-case-study-of-the-daily-monitor
WANGUI, MURJUKI "The Influence Of Print Media Campaigns On The Fight Against The Defilement Of The Girl Child A Case Study Of The Daily Monitor" Afribary. Afribary, 12 Jun. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-influence-of-print-media-campaigns-on-the-fight-against-the-defilement-of-the-girl-child-a-case-study-of-the-daily-monitor. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.
WANGUI, MURJUKI . "The Influence Of Print Media Campaigns On The Fight Against The Defilement Of The Girl Child A Case Study Of The Daily Monitor". Afribary, Afribary, 12 Jun. 2021. Web. 19 Sep. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/the-influence-of-print-media-campaigns-on-the-fight-against-the-defilement-of-the-girl-child-a-case-study-of-the-daily-monitor >.
WANGUI, MURJUKI . "The Influence Of Print Media Campaigns On The Fight Against The Defilement Of The Girl Child A Case Study Of The Daily Monitor" Afribary (2021). Accessed September 19, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/the-influence-of-print-media-campaigns-on-the-fight-against-the-defilement-of-the-girl-child-a-case-study-of-the-daily-monitor