Uganda to Commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with Focus on Action Against Gender-Based Violence in Old Age

Uganda to Commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with Focus on Action Against Gender-Based Violence in Old Age

Hon. Dominic Mafwabi Gidudu, Minister of State for Elderly Affairs, highlighted the plight of older persons in Uganda during a press briefing at the Uganda Media Centre.

The United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is observed globally on June 15th.

Addressing members of the press, Hon. Gidudu emphasized the significance of this day, which was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011.

"Uganda joins the rest of the world to spotlight the rights of older persons and acknowledge their contributions to national development," he stated.

The theme for this year's observance, "Gender-Based Violence in Old Age: A Call for Action," underscores a pressing social challenge. Hon. Gidudu said.

"Abuse of older persons is a global social challenge. It’s an issue that all Ugandans should be concerned about to secure a dignified future for everyone as they age," he added.

The minister highlighted alarming statistics from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2021 report, revealing that 84% of elder abuse cases occur in homes, with relatives being the main perpetrators.

The report also showed a gender disparity in abuse, with males predominantly abusing women aged 60-69, while older women over 70 years face abuse mostly from females.

Uganda's population, now estimated at 45.2 million, includes a growing number of older persons, projected at 2.2 million.

The government, recognizing the vulnerabilities faced by this demographic, has implemented various measures to protect their rights. These include the Revised National Policy for Older Persons 2024 and the Social Enterprise Grant for Older Persons (SEGOP), targeting economic empowerment through income-generating activities.

"Our commitment is reflected in policies like the National Equal Opportunities Commission and the National Social Protection Policy (2015)," Hon. Gidudu noted.

He also announced the establishment of specialized services for the elderly in public facilities and the inclusion of geriatric care in the healthcare system.

The national celebrations will be held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Saturday, June 15, 2024.