Men have been urged to use their position in society to step up the fight against Gender Based Violence.
The call was made during the launch of a campaign dubbed; “Men Engage,”in Kicukiro District yesterday.
The campaign that seeks to ensure that men become agents of change in the fight against the GBV was organised by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government.
The launch attracted opinion and religious leaders, youth representatives and local officials from Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro districts.
The launch also included a two-day training of trainers that will lead the countrywide campaign. Similar trainings are to be conducted in all the 30 districts of the country.
Addressing the first group of trainees, Anastasia Nyirabahinde, a Child Promotion and Protection Officer at Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, who was also a facilitator, noted that men have power to influence mindset change in society hence the need to bring them on board.
“This programme is not discriminative, it’s a matter of approach. Today, we decided to train men but we will also train women at a later date,” Nyirabahinde said.
GBV statistics show that between July and August last year, the Rwanda National Police recorded 567 cases related to GBV and child abuse across the country.
Vincent Nsengimana, a Pastor at Calmel Holy Temple Kicukiro, said the programme is timely.
“There has been an obvious need to involve men in the fight against GBV,” Nsengimana said.
He further explained that as a pastor who helps in counselling families and couples, the training for the Men Engage comes in handy.
Fidel Kasangiki, a participant from Rwamagana District, said the campaign would help men learn how to deal with conflict in homes and communities.
“For a very long time, the fight against GBV had been left to women forgetting the perpetrators who are in most cases men. Involving the latter in the GBV fight is nipping the vice in the bud,” Kasangiki said.
The training focuses on the role of men in the fight against GBV.