In Rwanda the Gender Based Violence act describes violence against women as any act that results in a bodily, psychological, sexual and economic harm. These are the different forms of abuse women have historically silently been subjected to.
This is now a thing of the past. There is now legal recourse against men who have over the years with impunity thought they had a privilege of abusing women’s rights.
Male privilege arising out of the socialization the boy child has been subjected to, meant him believing he was superior and dominant over the assumed weaker female sex.
No matter his level of education or exposure in life the boy child has sadly been stuck in the primitive past of him being superior to the female sex. The females have however fought back for their rights and dignity, refusing to be door mats in societies gender equation.
Rwanda has indeed dignified them through constitutional and legislative reforms that protect them against all forms of violence,that also create opportunities for them to empower themselves.
Women have been the silent victims of the worst forms of abuse; be it marital rape, physical assault or just emotional torment. This they have endured and taken on sadly as part of their obligation to society, as ‘strong’ women, sisters and mothers.
Now a law is in place that does not only protect them but empowers them to take recourse should any of the above defined rights be violated.
Under the GBV act the burden has now been shifted from the long suffering women, to the whole of society, that is the courts, the family, you and me.