At RWO, we like to picture ourselves as real fighters, doing our best to tackle the 4 main enemies of women and girls in Uganda,  strictly linked one to each other.


child marriages

In Uganda today, social taboos on girls are widespread and hard to eradicate. As a result,  child marriage is still a common practice.

Child marriage is seen by families as an
opportunity to earn money: when faced with extreme poverty, some households sell off their daughters in exchange of money, property or other forms of payment.

Moreover, following the local cultural beliefs, women are considered wives and mothers and their sexual purity is considered very important.

All these key factors contribute to push the parents, who normally have autority on girls,  to marry the daugther before she is 18.

The tragic incidence of child marriages in our country reflects the fact that local communities are less informed about the negative effects that this practice has on the actual lives of young girls and therefore tend to perpetrate this costume, which passes from generation to generation.

According to UNICEF, 10% of Ugandan girls are married before by 15 years old, while as many as 40% of the total young women are married before turning 18.


teenage pregnancy

Similarly, the pregnancy rate for Ugandan girls in their teens amounts to 25%, one of the highest in all Sub-Saharan Africa.

In general, the incidence of teenage pregnancies is higher in rural areas, where girls usually begin childbearing earlier than their urban counterparts.

Teenage pregnancies make young women and girls extremely vulnerable: pregnant girls and very young mothers are exposed to a higher risk of living in poverty, being excluded from society and suffering from pregnancy-related illnesses.


school drop out

Underage marriages and teenage pregnancies have a dramatic impact on the life and future expectations of young girls in Uganda.

Due to the obligation of fulfilling their duties as both wives and mothers, education inevitably takes second place in the young women’s lives and most girls have no choice but to drop out of school.

By doing so, they are forced to give up their right to an adequate education, which is the only means they are given to build a better future for themselves and their children.

According to this pattern, their fate is basically decided by events that are out of the girls’ control, whether it be underage marriage, teenage pregnancy or a combination of both. 



Although the last one of our enemies may be invisible, it is most certainly among the most dangerous for the lives of young girls.

In a country where 1.4 million people are living with HIV, women and young women in particular are disproportionately affected.

In fact, the prevalence of the virus in Uganda is almost four times higher among young women aged 15 to 24 than young men of the same age.

The problem is further exacerbated by the stigma suffered by people living with HIV/AIDS in our country, where the general lack of information on the virus results in widespread unawareness about its risks and denies HIV+ people access to social protection, education and appropriate health services.