Originally known as Buwekula DA, Mubende District was where ActionAid Uganda established its second field office which operated from 1988 until 2000.
The office has since transformed into the first of three Women’s Reception Centres for the Women Won’t Wait campaign established in the districts of Mubende, Nebbi and Pallisa. The centres, which are the first of this kind in Uganda, were open for women survivors of gender-based violence to provide information, legal redress, psychosocial support, crisis intervention, legal representation, medical referrals, rehabilitation and shelter among others.
The Women Won’t Wait Women’s Reception Centre was established in Mubende in 2008 to address the distinct link between violence against women and HIV/AIDS. Many programmes tend to apply gender-neutral approaches to the fight against HIV/AIDS while not focusing on women’s & girls’ rights and vulnerabilities.
The reality in Uganda is that gender based violence further exposes women and girls to HIV infection and makes them more vulnerable to the virus than men.
Statistics show that the prevalence of HIV among men in Uganda is at 5% while the rate of women stands at 7.5%
By recognizing the link between gender based violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS the Women Won’t Wait programme and centres present a new approache to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, support and treatment specifically designed to promote and protect women’s & girls’ rights.
The centres are all equipped with legal personnel, social workers and counsellors who are trained in all forms of gender based violence and case management. The centres also work in close collaboration with local authorities such as the Local Government Community Development, District Probation Offices , the Uganda Police Department of Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU) and other Police Units when necessary as well as medial officers to ensure sufficient evidence collection.
This unique partnerships with the local authorities, health workers and legal aid workers has helped ensure that more women win their cases, which would have otherwise been aborted due to tendencies of corruption and/or leniency in regards to cases of domestic violence that are too often considered as trivial within the Ugandan legal system.