The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion has urged men to play a part in addressing community issues and development through improved participation in family’s evening forum called ‘Umugoroba w’Imiryango’. The forum was changed from Umugoroba w’ababyeyi to ‘Umugoroba w’Imiryango’’ to remove the stereotype that it was meant for women only and make it more inclusive for men and children as well. MIGEPROF changed it in November 2020 and the monthly gatherings which were halted due to Covid resumed on September 19 in Nyarugenge District. On condition of anonymity, one man, a father of two, said that he still thinks that the forum is solely for women, “I can’t go there, what would I even say in those discussions?” Mireille Batamuliza, Director General of Family Promotion and Child Protection Directorate, MIGEPROF said there are some areas with improved male involvement but the gap is still significant. Most of the issues we have in our society originate from the family, she said, poverty, family conflicts, among others. “We want men to come on board, their role is vital in understanding the importance of peaceful coexistence and developing their families’ livelihoods,” she said. She also charged leaders at grassroot level to actively supervise and encourage men and children participation in these forums to collectively play a part in their communities’ development. “These issues are different depending on the community, thats why we want district leaders to come up with efficient strategies to tackle their specific challenges,” she said. “As a ministry and our different stakeholders, we are going to attend and supervise how these family’s forums are being conducted to ramp up more efforts and motivate men’s and women’s participation,” she said. Among pressing issues that are discussed, Jean De Dieu Serugendo, Spokesperson of Nyarugenge District said there are ways to mitigate teen pregnancy, gender based violence, increase of street kids. And also addressing family conflicts which surged during Covid-19 lockdown, he added. “On the issue of street kids, it is better to discuss it while children are present, that way they are advised on how to behave and its consequences by engaging their parents as well,” he pointed out. According to the forum’s guidelines, three families that have no conflicts are selected in every village to serve as role models and help other families with conflicts in their respective communities. Umugoroba w’Imiryango’ takes place on the third Sunday of every month.