“Your ego is choking me, your actions are bruising me. Listen!” Promoting Positive Masculinities among Boys and Men in Kitgum, Kumi, and Kampala Districts, Uganda

Author(s): Winifred Ikilai
Final project
Year of publication:


Uganda is facing a crisis!. Despite the existence of programs to eliminate sexual and gender based violence, the incidence of sexual and gender based violence is worrisomely rising especially in the Northern and Eastern part of the Country. Looking at a trend analysis performed by the United Nations Population Fund from 2017 to 2020 as extracted from the Ministry of Health district health information system, there was a 3.1% increase in gender based violence cases consistently from 79,888 in 2018 to 82,401 in 2019. And it also rose up by 9.8 percent from 82,401 in 2019 to 90,489 in 2020.

Child marriage rates have stagnated too at 25% since 2006 despite the intensified initiatives, the practice continues due to negative social norms routed in the traditional cultural  perspectives about childhood and womanhood. Statistics from the National Gender based violence policy (MOGLSD, 2019) show that of the 18-24 year old Ugandans, one in three girls (35%) and one in six boys (17%) reported experiencing sexual violence during their childhood.

Gender based violence is rooted in the harmful social and cultural practices, norms and practices of all communities that reinforce unequal power relations at household and societal level. Men and boys have been raised in environments that define and defend their masculine identity through power exertion, dominance and having the privilege of control.

This project therefore aims at promoting positive masculinities among men and boys to combat the rising sexual and gender based violence and to create a safer environment free of  violence in three districts of Kitgum, Kumi and Kampala by 2025. The focus of this project is promoting positive masculinities and deconstructing the negative social norms and practice is through social, attitudinal and behavioural change of men and boys who will trained as change agents to mitigate sexual and gender based violence. The project will engage community champions such as religious and cultural leaders and promote equality parenting.