Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > ILSHS Volume 10 > Perceptions of the Drivers of Sexual and Gender...
< Back to Volume

Perceptions of the Drivers of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Post Conflict Northern Uganda

Full Text PDF


This paper explores the perceived forms and drivers of sexual and gender based violence in post conflict settings with focus on Northern Uganda. It applied qualitative approaches primarily using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Study findings revealed that although all forms of violence are perceived to be prevalent, physical and emotional violence were perceived to be the most occurring. Men were perceived to be the main perpetrators of violence. However, there were cases of men who reported to experience violence from women. Few men reported violence to authorities because it was perceived to be stigmatizing; such men would be perceived as weak in a patriarchal society that perceives ideal men to be strong and less susceptible to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Early marriages are a major form of gender based violence which was perceived as normal in a number of communities despite the evidence that it contributes to negative social and reproductive health outcomes . Sexual violence cases in form of rape, defilement as well as incest were perceived to be on the rise in the sub-region. The study identified several drivers of SGBV including poverty, power imbalances in access to and control over resources, insecurity, blaming HIV infection on female partners, HIV related stigma and discrimination, alcohol and substance abuse


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 10)
P. Bukuluki et al., "Perceptions of the Drivers of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Post Conflict Northern Uganda", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 10, pp. 84-102, 2013
Online since:
September 2013

ACORD. Protection and Restitution for Survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Uganda: The legal peculiarities, the possibilities and the options. ACORD: Kampala, (2010).

Akumu. C, Amony. I & Otim. G. Suffering in Silence: A Study of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) In Pabbo Camp, Gulu District, Northern Uganda. Gulu District Sub Working Group on SGBV, (2005).

Auditor General. Special investigation report on the allegations of financial impropriety in the office of the prime minister. Office of the Auditor General: Kampala, (2012).

Barker G & Schulte J, Engaging Men as Allies in Women's Economic Empowerment: Strategies and Recommendations for CARE Country Offices. International Center for Research on Women. CARE Norway (2010).

Bukuluki. P and Mugisha. J. Baseline survey for Roco Kwo programme. Kampala: CARE International-Uganda, (2010).

Bukuluki. P and Mugisha. J. knowledge, attitude and practice survey on gender equality in selected districts in northern Uganda, Acholi sub region. Kampala: Care International-Uagnda, (2009).

Branch, A. International Justice, Local Injustice: The International Criminal Court in Northern Uganda, Dissent, Summer, (2004).

Bruce, J. Child Marriage in the Context of the HIV Epidemic, Population Council: Transitions to Adulthood Brief, no. 11, Sept. (2005).

Brownmiller, S. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. London: Penguin.

Lloyd, C, ed. Growing Up Global: Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries, Wash. DC: Nat'l Academies Press, (2005).

Finnstrom, S. Living with Bad Surroundings: War and Existential Uncertainty in Acholiland, Northern Uganda. Uppsala, Sweden, (2008).

Dolan, C., Humanitarian Protection in Uganda: A Trojan Horse? HPG Background Paper. London: Overseas Development Institute, (2006).

Galtung, J,. After Violence, Reconstruction, Reconciliation, and Resolution. " In Reconciliation, Justice and Coexistence, ed. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, 3-23. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (2001).

Garcia-Moreno C, Jansen HAFM, Ellsberg M, Heise L, Watts CH. Prevalence of intimate partner violence: findings from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence. The Lancet. 368(9543) (2006) 1260-1269.

Gottschalk, N, Uganda: early marriage as a form of sexual violence, in FMR 27, January 2007, 51-53. Also available at: http: /www. fmreview. org/FMRpdfs/FMR27/34. pdf.

Heise, L., Ellsberg M., and Gottemoeller, M. Ending Violence Against Women. Population Reports. Series . No. 11. Baltimore, Maryland: Population Information Program, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. (1999).

Human Rights Watch. Double Standards: Women's Property Rights Violation in Kenya, (2003).

ICG . Building a Comprehensive Peace Strategy for Northern Uganda. Africa Briefing No. 27 23 June 2005, http: /www. crisisgroup. org/home/index. cfm?id=3523&l=1 (Accessed on 28th July 2011).

ICRW. Intimate Partner Violence: high cost to Households and Communities. Washington DC. International Centre for Research on Women, 2009. Available at: www. icrw. org/publications/intimate-partner-violence-high-cost-householdsandcommunities.

IGWG of USAID. Addressing Gender-Based Violence through USAID's HealthPrograms: A Guide for Health Sector Program Officers. Washington, DC, (2006).

Isis-WICCE. Medical Interventional Study of War Affected Kitgum District. An Isis-WICCE Report with financial support from Medica Mondiale. Isis-WICCE, Kampala, Uganda, (2006).

Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). Guidelines for Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings: Focusing on Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence in Emergencies. Geneva: Inter-Agency Standing Committee, (2005).

Kishor S. and Johnson K., (2004). Profiling Domestic Violence - A Multi-Country Study, ORC Macro, (2004).

Kirk , J., and Miller, M. L. Reliability and Validity in Quantitative Research. Beverly Hill, CA: Sage. (1986).

Keesbury J. and Askew I. Comprehensive responses to gender based violence in low resource settings: Lessons learned from implementation. Population Council, Lusaka, Zambia, 2010.

Mensch B, Bruce J, Greene M, The Uncharted Passage: Girls' Adolescence in the Developing World, NY: Population Council, (1998).

MoGLSD, National report on sexual and gender based violence. International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. Kampala: MoGLSD, (2011).

OHCHR Making Peace Our Own: Victims' Perceptions of Accountability, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Northern Uganda. United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, New York: United Nations, (2007).

Rahman, A. Women and Microcredit in Rural Bangladesh: An Anthropological Study of the Rhetoric and Realities of Grameen Bank Lending, Boulder, CO: West view Press. (1999).

Sigsworth .R. Gender-Based Violence in Transition. Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation; Transitional Justice Programme. Johannesburg, (2008).

Skjelsbæk I. Voicing Silence: A Political Psychological Analysis of the Aftermath of the Bosnian War Rapes Thesis for the degree doctor rerum politicarum Trondheim, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management Department of Psycholog, (2006).

UBOS. Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. UBOS, ICF International, Calverton, Maryland, USA, (2011).

UBOS and ORC Macro. The Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. Calverton, Maryland, USA: UBOS and ORC Macro International Inc. (2007).

Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006. Calverton, Maryland USA: Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International Inc.

UNHCR. Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons. Guidelines for Prevention and Response. UNHCR, (2003).

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). UN Joint Programme on gender-based violence programme document. Kampala: UNICEF, (2012).

UNICEF (2005) Children bear the brunt of Uganda's 19-year old war, available at: http: /www. unicef. org/infobycountry/uganda_25704. html.

UNICEF. Suffering in Silence: A Study of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, UNICEF Uganda, 2005. http: /www. unicef. org/media/media_27378. html.

UNICEF (2004) United Nations Children's Fund, International Rescue Committee, Christian Children's Fund, Legal Aid Project. Protected Yet Insecure (2004).

Valji. N, (2007). Gender Justice and Reconciliation, International Conference: Building a Future on Peace and Justice, Nuremberg. ( Received 13 August 2013; accepted 24 August 2013 ).


Show More Hide
Cited By:

[1] J. Sarkin, "The Interrelationship and Interconnectness of Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law in Uganda: Pursuing Justice, Truth, Guarantees of Non-Repetition, Reconciliation and Reparations for Past Crimes and Human Rights Violations", Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Vol. 7, p. 111, 2015


[2] P. Bukuluki, I. Ddumba-Nyanzi, J. Kisuule, B. Schei, J. Sundby, Child Abuse and Neglect in Uganda, Vol. 6, p. 201, 2017


[3] A. Swaine, M. Spearing, M. Murphy, M. Contreras-Urbina, "Exploring the Intersection of Violence Against Women and Girls With Post-Conflict Statebuilding and Peacebuilding Processes: A New Analytical Framework", Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, Vol. 14, p. 3, 2019


[4] H. Chantelois-Kashal, N. Apenem Dagadu, D. Gardsbane, "Contested femininity: strategies of resistance and reproduction across adolescence in northern Uganda", Culture, Health & Sexuality, p. 1, 2019


[5] P. Bukuluki, P. Kisaakye, B. Etti, M. Ocircan, R. Bev, "Tolerance of Violence against Women and the Risk of Psychosocial Distress in Humanitarian Settings in Northern Uganda", International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 18, p. 8103, 2021


[6] N. Dagadu, K. Barker, S. Okello, B. Kerner, C. Simon, D. Nabembezi, R. Lundgren, "Fostering gender equality and reproductive and sexual health among adolescents: results from a quasi-experimental study in Northern Uganda", BMJ Open, Vol. 12, p. e053203, 2022

Show More Hide