"@Austynzogs: @Gidi_Traffic Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper has caused outrage on social media over a tone-deaf appeal for women to send in stories of sexual violence in exchange for the chance to win a "luxury bottle of wine". pic.twitter.com/aTvkaCyRFa— GIDITRAFFIC (@Gidi_Traffic) March 29, 2018
Uganda’s largest newspaper, The Daily Monitor, faced backlash after offering abuse victims wine in exchange for sharing their stories with the publication.
The paper announced their initiative in the form of a competition on Twitter, asking any women who have “suffered sexual harassment or gender-based violence” to share their stories under the hashtag “Press for Progress.” They noted that “the lucky winner” could win a “luxurious bottle of wine.”
Since men have time & again failed women, I'll skip them(not exempt them) and ask where the women working with daily monitor are? How do such tone-deaf messages make it to publishing? 😟— ☆Joanitah💥 (@Nvannungi_) March 28, 2018
Why do we keep failing women when entrusted with power? 😐 pic.twitter.com/pTvC4aQ5GM
ARE YOU TRULY ALRIGHT? SAME TO THOSE WHO HAVE REFUSED TO IMPEACH HIM!— Zoe Chinaka (@ZoeChinaka) March 29, 2018
AND NOW - Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper has JOINED THE DUMB-TREND over a tone-deaf appeal for women to send in stories of sexual violence in exchange for the chance to win a "luxury bottle of wine". pic.twitter.com/8wKBxPTpXC
The women’s rights group Femme Forte said in a Facebook post, “People should tell their stories because they are comfortable to do so and not because there is a bottle of wine to be won.”
"We applaud your effort to tell the story but have reservations on the avenue of a competition being used,” the post continued. “How for example will you determine the winner of this wine? Will it be that person who cried the most, or the one who had the most bruises?"
The Daily Monitor has since taken to Twitter to apologize for the tone-deaf tweet, noting that the paper’s intention “has never been to celebrate gender-based violence or sexual harassment.”
@DailyMonitor's intention has never been to celebrate gender-based violence or sexual harassment. We apologise for any misunderstanding this post might have caused. We have therefore deleted it. https://t.co/CSo5fGsNoH pic.twitter.com/z3OR9QE4Sl— Daily Monitor (@DailyMonitor) March 28, 2018
The original post was particularly egregious as Uganda is a country where domestic and sexual violence is a major issue. The Daily Monitor, itself, reported that 51 percent of women in the African nation will experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Indeed, treating this issue as something so trivial was a slap in the face to the women of Uganda as well as domestic violence victims everywhere.
Despite the newspaper's apology, the question remains: How was the thoughtless competition ever approved in the first place?
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