Responsibility for social welfare rests primarily with the Ministry of Culture and Community Development, but voluntary agencies play an ancillary role. The Ministry sponsors community development self-help projects, which are intended to involve the population in development schemes and to raise the standard of living. A social security system was introduced in 1967 and amended in 1985. This program provides old-age and disability pensions for employees of firms with five or more workers. Work injury benefits are provided for all workers and is funded by the employer.
Women are accorded equal rights, but tradition limits their exercise of them. Under customary law, women may not own or inherit property and are not entitled to custody of their children after divorce. The children of Ugandan women married to foreigners are not entitled to Ugandan citizenship. This stipulation does not apply to Ugandan men married to foreigners. Domestic abuse and violence against women is common. There are still reports of abduction and rape to obtain wives. Female genital mutilation is practiced by several ethnic groups.
The human rights situation in Uganda has improved in a few areas, but serious violations persisted, including excessive force by security forces, incommunicado detention, and prolonged pretrial detention. Prison conditions are very poor.