in latin pa aduii which means you are the child of a rebel Interviewee 9Some

In latin pa aduii which means you are the child of a

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in latin pa aduii’ which means you are the child of a rebel. (Interviewee, 9) Some participants even experience discrimination and rejection by their very own family members: People insult and point fingers at me saying that, that girl came back from the bush. Even family members especially some of my uncles would insult me (Interviewee, 5). Another mother reports that her and her children are commonly made the scapegoats in the community and falsely accused of theft: If a neighbour loses a Jerri can (container for water), I and my children are the first to be accused. (Interviewee, 9) Within strongly patriarchal societies such as northern Uganda, these young women are especially vulnerable, in particular the ones who return with children. A woman is traditionally dependent on her husband in order to sustain herself and her children. The returnees, especially the ones with children, report difficulties in finding a husband. We who returned from the bush are still young and would want to get married someday but there is no man here who wants to get someone like me with my children. The men do not like our children .... me and the rest of the girls with the same experience cannot abandon our own children. (Interviewee, 9) It is very hard to take care of all the children. We… most of us who returned from the bush are very unfortunate. When we get a man who wants to marry us, they first stay with us then… they abandoned us. So... It’s so painful for me. (Interviewee, 8) The loss of virginity is perceived as defilement and prevents returnees from finding a husband. There are many reports of how parents commonly urge their daughters to stay with the men who abducted them. As a result the girls are often compelled to stay with the same men that raped and abused them. In light of this it is evident how gender discrimination 4
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strongly affects how women live their lives in many parts of Africa. In addition, the children born to rebels also suffer additional discrimination and ostracism by communities. I even don’t know their father’s home, village or any member of their family. While in the bush, their father never disclosed this information for fear that when I… like others return, could tell people about them and this could cause problems to their family and community (Interviewee, 9). These young women are perceived as being possessed by evil spirits and hence feared by community members and this situation poses a considerable challenge to their own and their children’s reintegration. Their sexual exploitation and the fact that many of these women have been forcefully impregnated reduce the chances of them being able to enter a stable relationship and fulfil the traditional expectations of the patriarchal society. This situation makes them vulnerable to further abuse and exploitation by men. It is important to address these issues to enable the women to participate fully and exercise their rights in these communities.
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • The Land, Lord's Resistance Army, Military use of children

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