Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has urged women leaders to use their abilities to end domestic violence claiming lives in the country.
The premier was yesterday addressing women leaders during the closure of a nine-day civic education (Itorero) for women leaders dubbed, “Mutima w’urugo,” loosely translated as “The heart of the family,” at Nkumba Peace and Leadership Training Centre in Burera District.
Figures from Police show that at least 142 people, including 78 females, died as a result of domestic violence last year.
“You will need to take the lead to fight domestic violence in partnership with other line institutions, we will not tolerate such conflicts claiming lives of Rwandans,” Murekezi said in reference to the Police figures.
He said the number of assaults in the same year was 558 with females being the most affected as they cover 377 while their males counterparts were 179.
“This is against our values. They should end for good. I urge every Rwandan to bear in mind that this issue of gender based violence concerns all of us and that we should end such vice,” he added.
Murekezi also urged the women to be very conversant with family law and other laws to ensure that they know their rights and that families live in harmony for the good of the next generation.
“You need to dedicate time to take care of children and ensure that children do not drop out of school, never run to the street, never involve in drug abuse and other vices that result into contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies,” he told the women.
Murekezi encouraged women to fight against corruption, malnutrition in families and promote the culture of hygiene in families.
On trade and working with banks
The premier urged women to work with banks and acquire loans to boost their incomes and improve their livelihoods.
Latest figures from the central bank, he said, show that only 22.5 per cent of the total loans went to women, while 77.5 per cent went to males.
“This should change so that women apply for more loans,” Murekezi said, encouraging them to venture more into both formal and informal trade.
Claudine Uwamahoro, the National Women Council representative from Nyakiriba Sector in Rubavu District, said Itorero helped them understand that domestic violence is mainly due to lack of time for family members to sit and discuss family matters.
“We pledge to engage our colleagues to have more time to discuss with their partners daily issues so that they know the right things, wrong ones and then look for the way forward together,” she said.
“We are fully committed to help families live in harmony and end gender based violence. We are also committed to do our best to improve our lives through working with banks, we will ensure that our children are taken care of for the better growth as well,” Uwamahoro added.
Itorero for women started in 2014 and more than 1,300 female leaders have been trained over time in four phases, according to officials.