Alcohol, drug abuse, poverty and illiteracy are among the common causes of gender-based violence (GBV) in Gatsibo and Nyarugenge districts, the Rwanda Women’s Network has said.
The women group made the remarks last week while giving updates on its ongoing anti- gender based violence campaign in the two districts.
The campaign involves use of paralegal volunteers who have been trained by RWN to educate people on their rights and the need for harmonious families.
Last year, out of 767 cases of GBV registered by RWN in the two districts, 70 per cent were caused by alcohol and drug abuse, according to the RWN survey.
At least 555 of the cases were registered in Gatsibo district alone.
Speaking to The New Times, Annette Mukiga, the communications officer at Rwanda Women Network, said poverty breeds sexual exploitation.
She added their campaign is bearing fruit with men contributing much towards the cause.
“We call upon youth to get involved in fighting GBV because it affects them too,” she said.
Theodosia Nyirambarushimana, one of the paralegals working in Gatega Sector, Nyarugenge District, said six cases of GBV reported to her late last year were caused by alcohol and drug abuse.
She said during their campaign, emphasis is put on making people aware of their rights and the need to demand for them.
Abdulkarim Ntaganda, another paralegal from Rwezamenyo Sector, also in Nyarugenge, said physical violence is the most easily detected.
The network has trained over 366 local leaders in Gatsibo to fight GBV, while in Nyarugenge District 30 religious leaders have been trained.
A total of 25,443 people were sensitised last year in the two districts.
Christiane Umuhire, the gender mainstreaming and anti-GBV officer at the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, said eradicating GBV is a collective responsibility.
“Women and government cannot be a monopoly in addressing sexual gender based violence. It should involve the entire society to take it as personal responsibility to fight GBV,” she said.
Umuhire believes that there is need to step up poverty fight which has been identified among the major causes of gender based violence.