I would like to appreciate an article on Women and AIDS by Berna Namata, that was published on Friday.
The article was objective and well-researched, it showed the actual crisis on the ground, and the obstacles created by wrong gender perceptions and traditions.
The good news is that Rwanda has a strong community network of women (like AVEGA, basket-makers and other co-operatives) who can be mobilised to develop better rights and support for at-risk women and girls.
Do not forget the crucial role played by religious organisations in the development of strong personal values and goals. The most important life-saving message that young people are not quite hearing today is that basic principle that: every human being is wonderfully created in the image of God.
This spiritual recognition makes a person just a bit more careful about the (who’s, when’s and where’s) of their social networking.
Maybe that is why older women are doing better (as per her article) because they grew up in an environment with stronger moral and spiritual values.
The gender-awareness campaign now enjoyed in public institutions was visibly lacking during our pioneering days (1960s, 1970s and 1980s).
Sexual harassment was then considered a normal part of the professional career. A lot of folks went up the corporate ladder this way except for those “mean” women that no predator dared to approach without risking “loud announcements” at the next staff meeting.
This strong faith to say loud NOs is now being manifested in the younger generations-- like Pamela the girl-child (14 years) in Uganda who recently stoned a 40-year-old male predator to death -- to protect her body.