Although the Government has put in place several measures to end gender-based violence (GBV) and child abuse, there is still need for individual involvement in the GBV fight, the Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, has said.
The Premier made the call yesterday while launching the national campaign against gender-based violence and child abuse in Muhanga District.
“Effects of GBV can go as far as affecting the economy of the country. A victim of psychological or physical violence may not be in position to perform effectively or even contribute to the economy of the country. This could as well be the same case to a child who is abused and tortured,” Murekezi said.
He highlighted laws that have been put in place to curb GBV and child abuse, but warned that legal instruments and enforcing institutions cannot fully realise the goal without everyone’s involvement.
“Ending GBV and child abuse is a responsibility for all. We all have to join efforts and means to report and prevent such violence from happening,” said the Prime Minister.
Among the existing mechanisms to end GBV is the Isange One Stop Centre which was launched in 2009.
Last year, the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, launched the scale up of Isange One Stop Centre. To date, there are 17 centres across the country.
Plans are underway to establish the centre at all the district hospitals across the country.
During the launch of the anti-GBV campaign, the Prime Minister toured a newly-constructed centre in Muhanga and unveiled the centre’s mobile clinic.
The mobile clinic will be operating in districts that do not have such centres to record and respond to the needs of victims.
“I have to comment Rwanda National Police that manages Isange One Stop Centre. The work they have done has contributed to making our society safer,” the Prime Minister said.
The three-month campaign is conducted jointly by the ministries of gender and family promotion, health, justice, local government, the Police and gender monitoring office, the Netherlands Embassy in Rwanda and One UN.
The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, said the campaign comes as an additional sensitisation mechanism to the existing efforts.
“We opted for a holistic approach in the campaigns so that we could have consolidated results. Our country came a long way with regards to GBV and child abuse; we have achieved a lot but we are not yet where we want to be,” said Gasinzigwa.
The One UN Women representative, Clara Anyangwe, commended Rwanda for its continued efforts in women empowerment.
She said, “we are grateful for the commitment of Rwanda and President Paul Kagame to advance women empowerment.”
Elsewhere, in the City of Kigali, all roads led to Nyabisindu in Remera Sector of Gasabo District, where thousands of city dwellers, students and pupils converged to denounce GBV and child abuse.
The chief guest at the event, MP Edouard Bamporiki, told those at the event that GBV results into a “failed society”, and rallied residents behind the campaign.
“The Government has ensured that everyone – man, woman and child – is given equal opportunity to contribute to Rwanda’s development. Let us therefore take this opportunity and embrace equality for all,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Province, Ngoma District women praised the impact of Isange One Stop Centre that was established in 2012 at Ngoma Hospital.
Residents toured the centre, which has since handled about 600 cases majority related to sexual violence (rape and defilement).
Over 3000 residents then participated in a peaceful march against GBV and child abuse.
At the event, Jean Marie Vianney Makombe, the executive secretary of the Eastern Province, echoed similar messages of joint partnership against the vices.
The campaign is being held under the theme, “Prevent GBV and Child Abuse - Act Now - Our safety is everyone’s responsibility.”