With the increasing number of cases of sexual harassment being reported countrywide, Nile Special one of Uganda’s leading beer companies/brands have come out and started a campaign to fight sexual harassment like rape, defilement, unwarranted sexual comments, touches among others.
The beer company launched this campaign before the start of a rugby game between Uganda Rugby Cranes and Zambia in the Victoria Cup.
The campaign which has been dubbed #NoExcuse for sexual harassment is aimed at fighting the vice that has become so predominant in Uganda with so many Ugandans getting away with the act using excuses.
The campaign is looking at fighting sexual harassment in both females and males as both sexes suffer from sexual harassment. It is believed that some people use the excuse of being drunk or intoxicated for their actions and so the campaign is meant to fight such excuses.
Nile Special has already launched an online campaign to carry out an online survey so that they can best understand what qualifies as sexual harassment keeping in mind that some actions may not be intentional.
The campaign is aimed at doing the following in society when it comes to sexual harassment; shine a spotlight on the sexual harassment problem, to bring about a change in long-established societal behaviours and attitudes, to activate bystanders with the aim of decreasing and preventing this act, challenge the public to take appropriate action against perpetrators of sexual harassment, encourage stakeholders to support the victims to access appropriate support services.
Utilizing the brand’s online platforms, the campaign will implore the public to have its say on what constitutes sexual harassment. The information will be curated and the data presented into a communication campaign to both raise awareness and also educate the public about sexual harassment while changing people’s attitudes and beliefs.
Francis Nyende, the Nile Special Brand Manager said, “It is a good thing that the plight of women regarding sexual harassment is edging to the fore of the national discourse. But it’s also rather disturbing that almost daily there’s a story about a woman that has been sexually harassed. As one of the leading Ugandan brands, we have decided to champion the cause. ”Our ultimate goal is to reduce and prevent the incidences of sexual harassment, which affects the lives of too many women, both directly and indirectly, and thereby make a much safer society.
“Some of the places where women are more susceptible to sexual harassment is during the nightlife (bars, discos etc). At certain hours of the night, after consuming a couple of bottles, some men throw caution to the wind at the expense of the women. So we are here to educate revelers that they should drink smart, there’s no excuse for sexual harassment,” says Nyende.
Ms Gloria Nakafeero, the Commissioner Gender and Women Affairs, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development said;
“We are using the ‘No Excuse’ campaign as a catalyst to get people to question themselves and their behaviours. We are aware that by identifying the problem we shall need to do more to try and create meaningful change.”
So by raising awareness about the issue, the existing laws and policies as well as the existing support services, we will contribute towards positive change in attitudes to make sexual harassment “inexcusable” and unacceptable and demand positive actions towards the elimination of sexual harassment.
I am happy to be associated with the Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ campaign. It always starts with a simple insight. What rings true for me was the idea that in Uganda, whenever we observe or encounter of sexual harassment, we’re inclined to absent ourselves of any responsibility – or worse still, excuse behaviour that’s totally inexcusable.”
Article 24 of the constitution protects the dignity of everyone in Uganda. No person shall be subjected to any form of inhuman or degrading treatment. This includes respect of a person to their psychological or mental well being.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!