Residents of Mutuntu sector in Karongi District were on Thursday 29th /11/2018 sensitized against gender based violence and taken through reasons why they must advance the status of women and girls in their sector until every one of them is valued and not vulnerable.
This activity of sensitization was among the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) started on the 25th/11 and will run until December 10.
The annual event is carried out to create awareness against violence especially on women and girls. It aims at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.
This year’s campaign is conducted under the theme; “Build the family we want: say no to child defilement”.
Rwanda Men’s Resources Center (RWAMREC) staff together with Prevention+ will be attending parents’ forums countrywide, in one village in each district, where they will impart information on preventing and solving effects of gender based violence.
Talking to Mutuntu sector residents that had gathered at Mutuntu secondary school in one of the similar events, Mukashema Drecelle, the Vice Mayor Karongi, called on all residents to partner with the district and the police and fight against the vice.
“Fighting GBV is everyone’s responsibility. We shouldn’t wait for big organisations or the government alone to act on it. This fight against GBV is not just a 16 days thing, but a continuous campaign that aims to end gender based violence,” she said.
“Everyone should stay watchful and be an eye for the government by reporting any such cases of sexual abuse or gender based violence. It should be our main concern due to its rapid increase, and we should know that with violence in our homes, there can never be economic development” Mukashema told residents
“There’s no way a country can develop if women are left behind, fighting for their rights helps in the development of a country,” she said
According to Uwizera Mukankomeje Rosette a representative from Rwanda Men’s Resources Center (RWAMREC), gender based violence still exists in homes because parents give a bad example to their kids when they fight each other in their presence.
“When they grow up seeing their mother beaten by their dad, they carry on the tradition because to them it is normal and accepted. So residents of Mutuntu, I call upon you to set examples for the future generation “said Uwizera
She called upon the residents to love each other and to respect their spouses for the good of the family saying that if there is no love in the home there can never be peace.
“For someone who you once loved and called all those beautiful names, it is bad when you call them names and disgrace them through beating and other forms of violence. Remember that these are crimes and punishable by the law, so we should refrain and report such acts in our midst” said Uwizera
“We must not forget boys and men as we seek to prevent violence and address changing gender attitudes. We must acknowledge that males, too, can also be victimized because of their gender” she added
The District Police Commander Karongi Eric Niyongabo also told residents to shy away from gender based violence or face consequences.
“We are dealing with different cases of gender based violence’s in the district and the government is putting in more efforts to curb such crimes. These should stop and you should know that no one will get away from the law after such acts like rape, defilement, murder and bodily harm are committed” said Niyongabo
Rwanda has developed and implemented innovative approaches to reduce violence and to ensure that women who have been abused get the support they need.
Gender-based violence not only undermines the possibility of gender equality, but also negatively affects women’s health care, education, and political and economic participation.
These 16 Days have offered an opportunity to renew the commitment to freeing women from the nightmare of violence, whether the abuse occurs in the home behind closed doors, or in the open fields of armed conflict.