The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr Jean d’ Arc Mujawamariya, yesterday said that this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations would be held at village level.
Women’s day is observed globally every year on March 8 to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women’s past, present and future.
Without giving details about the main activities that have been organized for the day, Mujawamariya noted that thorough preparations have been made to ensure that Rwandans partake in this year’s theme.
“Under the theme ‘Equal Rights, equal opportunities and progress for all’ we will ensure that everyone unites in promoting these issues,” she said.
“In the past we have emphasized the fight against sexual and gender based violence – a campaign that has led to behavioural change.”
The Minister added that such village-based celebrations enable the message to reach every citizen citing that this is because the theme is discussed in detail in all communities hence encouraging nationwide participation.
Officials from the National Women’s Council also add that although Rwanda has taken significant strides as regards raising the status of women even in leadership positions, a big number in the rural sector still suffer.
The 2009 Gender Based Violence (GBV) statistics show that 220 rape cases were reported, 15 women killed by their partners while 17 were murdered by relatives.
Mujawamariya therefore emphasized that if women are to enjoy their rights and partake in the fight against GBV, breaking the silence that surrounds the vice is vital.
“Last year’s celebrations created this awareness, so this year we will build on that and emphasize equality and progress,” she added.