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This study provides a baseline situation on GBV in 13 selected districts of Rwanda. The
study was commissienned by four civil society Organizations, namely RWAMREC, RWN,
AJEPRODHO and working on GBV under a financial support of NPA. The study was
necessary to inform future interventions in the context of GBV Program.
The study resorted to both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The methodology had
four attributes. It was participatory, human rights-based, gender sensitive, with appreciative
Inquiry as the guiding approach. It used triangulated methods, including literature review,
questionnaire, key informant interviews and focussed group discussions.
The broad key finding is that while Rwanda has made commendable progress in the fight
against GBV, the phenomenon is still prevalent in the country. The other key findings are as
follows:
The awareness on GBV is high : above 78% of all respondents know GBV in its
various forms ;
This awareness is confirmed by the meaning that respondents give to GBV. In their
words, GBV encompasses the following : discrimination based on one’s sex, power
imbalance in decision-making between men and women, unjust labor division
between men and women, sexual abuse, beating and other force-based violence and
economic deprivation ;
Off all respondents, 72.9% said GBV exists in their respectives communities ;
As regards its magnitude, GBV is described as a « very serious issue ». Indeed, 70.9%
respondents have witnessed a case of GBV in the last 12 months ;
Among these, sexual abuse and hitting emerged as the top two forms of GBV that
respondents heard of or witnessed in the last 12 months (58.6% and 38.5 %
respectively). However, when it comes to perceptions (not witness), this order slighly
changes hitting becoming the first and sexual abuse second (39.5% and 37.3%
respectively), which confirm that these two forms of GBV are dominant. These
types of GBV along with the economic deprivation are also perceived as the most
frequent ;
Due to huge gaps at the family and community level in terms of prevention of GBV,
Children are at higher risk of sexual abuse than adults. Of all respondents, 31 %
declared having heard of cases of children sexual abuse in the last 12 months ;
Women constitute the majority of victims of spousal murder (59.7%), while men are
are the majority among spousal poisoning (81.1%) and suicide (67.2%);
20.7% of all respondents have had personal experience of GBV in the last 12
months. Results from the study show that women and girls are six times at risk of
GBV compared with men and boys. Personal experience confirms that sexual abuse,
hitting and economic deprivation are the most dominant forms of GBV in Rwanda;
With respect to characteristic of the residence, the study results show that
rape/sexual violence in general and deprivation from resources are higher in rural
settings (respectively 58.2% and 10.2%) than in urban areas (54.7% and 9%
respectively). Conversely hitting and insults and intimidations are slightly higher in
urban areas than in rural ones ;
In terms of place, home is the common place for acts of GBV among adults with
83.2% and 51% for children. The level of child abuse in the street significantly
increases from 1.9% among adults to 26.5% among children;
In the majority of cases, GBV is perpetrated by intimate partners (41.4%) and
neighbors (21.2%).
GBV reporting is still low: only 10% of all sexual abuse victims declared having
reported it to one or another institution/structure. Disturbing is also the number of
GBV victims (all forms considered) who did nothing after being victimized : 38%.
Among the discouraging reasons are respectively the feeling that nothing will be
done after reporting (36.7%), the fear of stigma (18.7%) and dependence of victims
to perpetrators (16.9%) ;
Despite Rwanda’s amenability to international standards on gender equality,
standards are not matched by local standards and practice. Indeed, for cultural
reasons, some males still abuse inheritance rights of women and girls. Female
represent cumulatively about 70% of victims of land rights violation;
For respondents, the direct causes of GBV are respectively limited knowledge of law
and rights (23.9%), alcoholism (23.5%), persistence of negative cultural beliefs on
gender (21.4%) and dependence by victim to the perpetrator (7.2%). At the structural
level, patriarchy is seen as the main cause of GBV in Rwanda.

Download the full study document.


Article crated on 2014-02-24 22:12:24

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RWAMREC Values

  • Men are naturally loving, caring and sensitive; and may practice compassion and non-violence.


  • Powerful men do not need to hurt or blame others.


  • Men of quality do not fear equality.


  • There are non-violent, non-abusive, and non-controlling means of solving problems and conflicts.

Quotes on Gender

  • “A state that does not educate and train women is like a man who only trains his right arm.” ― Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World


  • “If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.” ― Plato, The Republic

  • “In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” ― Margaret Thatcher