Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is still a widespread problem in Rwanda, with women remaining the primary people affected.
Stakeholders in the justice sector and human rights activism have discussed ways to strengthen prevention and response to GBV against Women and Girls in Rwanda, by which they came up with aim to evaluate themselves and see what they are not doing right, then work together to fill the gaps in policies.
“We need to go back into our organizations and evaluate ourselves and see what we are not doing right. Let’s work together to fill the gaps in policies. By fighting against GBV, there is someone we want to raise and bring up to build a future Rwandan woman or a Rwandan girl who is empowered, competent and who will be creating spaces for the next young generation,” Said Nooliet Kabanyana, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion (RNGOF on HIV/AIDS & HP)
Kabanyana who commended Rwanda’s commitment towards ending GBV against women and girls, added: “Most of the times, us, as the civil society organizations, key actors in the GBV response, we must be having the evidences that we can use to advocate for the gaps and barriers that are still being faced by women and girls in terms of the GBV issues that they are still facing. In Rwanda advances were recorded in prevention, however, there is still a need of finding out effective mechanisms for protection and legal aid of GBV victims”.
The stakeholders’ dialogue which took place on October 27, 2021 in Kigali was with objective to identify gaps and challenges related to the implementation of the national GBV responses with the view to suggest adequate remedies.
“We need to identify what is unfinished business. What can we do to ensure that our women, men young boys and girls live in a country that has no GBV? We need to ensure that programs and policies that are there are well implemented. As civil society, we believe that advocacy will help us continue to have an enabling environment where everyone in our country will enjoy gender equality, inclusion and ensure that the rights of everyone are respected. We are committed to contribute. We are trying to keep working together. The ministry of Justice has worked with us very closely,” Said Aflodis Kagaba, Executive Director, HDI Rwanda. He represents the coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
Rwanda is seen globally as a country that has made a significant progress in gender equality.
According to Anastase Nabahire, the Coordinator of JRLOS in the Ministry of Justice, new initiatives will be put in place to make sure the country is able to effectively address GBV against women and girls.
“We need to make sure our laws are strong in order to stop this crime. All aspects have been thought of, and needed provisions have been put in place to exactly fight GBV and stop GBV. We are determined to initiate new initiatives to make sure that in collaboration with all stakeholders of the justice sector as well as some others out of the sector, we can effectively address GBV,” he said.
Participants of the dialogue pointed at foremost challenges that are still hindering the mitigation of GBV including mindset, and social norms among other. Everyone’s effort effort was recommended to successfully overcome the issue.
Crescence Mukantabana, gender activist, who evoked that in the past women were marginalized for many years, recommended for more sensitization on GBV Law to make its enforcement inclusive. She urged men to significantly play part in addressing the issue.