Mr. Charles Rwomushana, a vocal political commentator, insulted female members of parliament for being like prostitutes and it became a huge issue. “A matter of national importance” no less, according to a female member of parliament as quoted by Daily Monitor. Apparently:
Disregarding the host’s call for decorum … Rwomushana insisted on referring to female legislators as self-centred ‘prostitutes’.
Daily Monitor quotes the talk show host, Mr. Charles Odongotho, as having said:
I didn’t agree with him and told him that’s not our standard. No one can anticipate what a guest is going to say on the show. You just have to control the limits, which is what I exactly did.
Hon. Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, a learned fellow – a lawyer by training – is quoted by Daily Monitor on the matter of Rwomushana referring to female members of parliament as prostitutes as having said:
The right to freedom of expression does not give anybody the right to abuse other people.
Gender-based violence can be verbal and it would appear that female members of parliament are enduring it significantly. Sadly, the style of discourse and debate that dominates talk shows in Uganda doesn’t help, it makes the situation worse.