The Government of Rwanda has made ending violence against women and girls a national priority. Every year the Government of Rwanda joins the World to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism to end Violence Against Women and Girls.
On 24th November 2017, the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion in collaboration with social cluster Ministries and other stakeholders, launched the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and girls. On this national special day, RWAMREC joined Rwandans in the walk marking the beginning of the campaign that was organized countrywide under the National theme: “End violence against women and girls: Speak out”.
In line with its mission and vision, RWAMREC has a mandate to join other actors in the area of GBV prevention, to celebrate the 16 days of activism against GBV by leading in activities that contribute to the prevention and eradication of the noble cause of GBV
With regard to the 16 days of activism, RWAMREC has carried out a number of activities in all districts where RWAMREC is operational to capitalize the campaign. The activities include, but not limited to the following;
• Train couples identified as living with GBV, in the 14 sectors where indashyikirwa project has interventions. (A4C project)
• Train committees of parents’ evening forums in all 537 villages of Karongi District (Prevention + project)
• Train 430 InshutiZ’Umuryango (IZU) in Rulindo district. (EDV Project)
• Conduct a school based campaign in Mwendo secondary school / Bugesera District to sensitize students on the role they can play in preventing and fighting GBV (Girls’ future project)
• Organise a Behavior Change and Communication Campaign gn in 4 Districts of the Southern Province Nyamagabe, Muhanga, Ruhango , and Huye . (GEWEP II project)
On 15th December 2017, RWAMREC organized officially the closing of the 16 days of activism to end Violence Against Women and Girls in Rulindo District. Ceremonies took place in, Gasiza cell, District of Rulindo in the Nothern province and a large number of officials from the District and respective sectors were present to make the event enjoyable. Ceremonies started by a long walk as a symbol of a shared renewed commitment to fight and eradicate Gender-Based Violence within Rwandan society.
The Executive Secretary of Burega Mrs. Mediatrice Umubyei, the host of the event, thanked the Government of Rwanda and the President Paul KAGAME for their commitment to end violence against women and girls and therefore promote their rights. The President of the National Women Council at the District level, Mme UWINDAGIYE Rose emphasized that activism campaign to end violence against women and girls is a continuous action in Rwanda. She added that “the 16 days of activism campaign is just time to rememorate about the magnitude of GBV and the relevance of its fight, to assess the progress and decide ways forward”.
A lot was done during the 16 days of activism campaign in various areas of Rulindo District to reinforce the journey of fighting Violence against of Women and Girls and ensure everyone is involved. Among other activities, we can retain the following:
• Registration of illegally married couples;
• identification of non-registered children;
• identification of early pregnant girls. An approximate of 416 early pregnancies were registered;
• Punishment of perpetrators.
The commandant of the Police said that “GBV was a culture in Burega sector and surrounding area and its consequences were huge and devastating. However, since RWAMREC starts working in the area, the situation has significantly changed”. He emphasized that” Where RWAMREC’s work reaches, the police’s work reduces as citizens are aware of GBV and committed to fight against GBV”. Testimonies on couples’ changes resulting from RWAMREC awareness sensitization and training were shared with participants by KagangoClaver and Rekeraho Lambert and their wives.
RWAMREC operates in 7 sectors of Rulindo District. According to Butera Claude,” RWAMREC puts a great focus on parents’ evening forumsconsidered as the appropriate setting where GBV related issues are addressed. For this purpose, a 2 days training for Family friends “Inshutiz’umuryango” was conducted one week before the closing of the 16 days of activism. Around 120 participants from 40 villages of Ntarabana and Burega Sectors benefited a heavy package of knowledge on GBV.
Founded in 2006, RWAMREC’s vision is to create a “peaceful society where women and men share roles and responsibilities of raising families and governing society in equality and respect. RWAMREC stands as unique in its approach of engaging men to adopt positive masculinities behaviour in promoting women’s rights.