Most of the violence against women in Uganda happens in the home. Some research says 65 percent of women in Uganda have experienced some kind of intimate partner violence. Even more disturbing, a government survey showed that 40 percent of women aged 14-49 approved of wife beating, and 15 percent even thought it appropriate for a man to beat his wife if she burned his dinner. But if this is all going home behind closed doors, how to get accurate information to improve the picture?
UN Global Pulse supported the global Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, a United Nations initiative in partnership with the European Union and others. We used our trailblazing radio mining tool to uncover detailed data on gender-based violence. In Uganda, radio stations are still a vital source of information and discussion, especially in the countryside, where 75% of Ugandans live. Using automated speech recognition models, the tool “listens” to conversations in local languages and provides insights into public perceptions of gender-based violence and violence against children in real-time.

Our impact

We saved the government of Uganda and UNDP time and money needed for door-to-door surveys by providing data to show how their interventions were helping cut down on domestic violence, and spotlighting where more work is needed.

Our lessons

  • We learned the value of listening to stakeholders, to fully understand their needs, and to come up with novel ways to help them understand and use our findings.
  • Our partners learned they could spark changes in society by giving radio show hosts information and tools so they could help victims of domestic violence who call in to radio talk shows, and influence the attitude of others.