Women council pledges fresh efforts to counter rising divorce cases

Nadine Umutoni, the Vice-Mayor in Charge of Social-Economic Affairs in the City of Kigali (centre), speaks during the meeting while as Aurore Umuhoza, Coordinator of the National Women Council in the city of Kigali (right) looks on. On the left is Allen Atwiine, an official with the National Women Council. The council has vowed to put up a fresh fight to counter the rising numbers of divorces in the country. / Craish Bahizi

The National Women’s Council says they are going to put up a fresh fight to counter the rising numbers of divorces in the country.

Recent statistics show that the number of people seeking divorce has been increasing drastically, moving from 21 divorces in 2016, to 69 in 2017, and 1,311 cases in 2018.

During the General Assembly of the National Women’s Council at the City of Kigali level, women leaders discussed a variety of problems facing the family and what has to be done about them as they showcased their action plan for 2019/2020.

In an interview with Sunday Times, Aurore Umuhoza, the National Women Council Coordinator at the City of Kigali recognised the prominence of the problem and said it was one important issue that was going to be underlined by the council, especially through the routine village roundtable dialogues (Umugorobaw’ababyeyi),

“The problem of divorce is evident. It is mainly due to perceptions among people. There is a need for our young people to be sensitized about the law, and what to do for a good and secure family. Here, we see the village roundtable dialogues as an answer to family problems, and a tool we can use to reach out to families as we aim to counter divorce,” she said.

Although it is looked at as a platform to tackle family concerns, unfortunately, Umuhoza highlighted that even though the dialogues exist in Kigali, their attendance is low especially as far as men are concerned. She said that the women council is going to be looking into attracting more people to these meetings,
 
“The attendance has been low. Women have been trying to attend, but men haven’t felt yet that it is something that is of great concern to them. That is why we want to put in effort so that every person in a village feels that it is profitable for them to participate,” she said.

“When we have come together, we will know our responsibilities about how to address conflicts in families, how to protect our children as well as getting to know the family well. The dialogues will give good outcomes for our country.”

The rising number of divorces in the country has been a concern for different institutions, organisations and ordinary individuals.

Late last year, the judiciary expressed its worry over the rising toll of divorce cases despite mediation measures being used by the society to fix ailing relationships.

At the time, Chief Justice Sam Rugege said that there should be a way of following up and supporting families when the relationship is deteriorating so that it doesn’t end up into divorce or murder.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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