The issue of documented Gender Based Violence (GBV) has increased over the last few years owing to the rise in awareness of the issue, the media heard on Monday.
MP Ignatienne Nyirarukundo revealed that the fact that awareness had increased with regard to violence againstwomen, documented cases of GBV had increased significantly.
Nyirarukundo was one of the gender stakeholders who briefed journalists about the upcoming International Conference on; “The Role of Leadership in Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.”
Nyirarukundo heads the Legal Commission in the Rwanda Women Parliamentarians Forum (FFRP); the organizers of the conference that starts here in Kigali next week.
According to the vice-president of the Senate, Marie Mukantabana, the conference will discuss governance, peace, justice and security among other topics.
Mukantabana, who is also the chairperson of FFRP, said that the conference will be preceded by a match by women all over the country.
The “One Million Women’s Match for a better future” will see women across the country walk to celebrate the advancement of women and to show their support for the continuous government commitment in promoting, accelerating and sustaining women empowerment and gender equality, a day before the conference kicks-off,” she said.
MP Jacqueline Mukakanyamugenge, another member of FFPR, told the journalists that though a lot has been achieved, women in Rwanda still have to contend with many issues.
“Women still lack economic empowerment and are still behind in terms of the economy. And there is, of course, the issue of postnatal deaths. We have achieved so much but we also still have a long way to go,” she said.
The Vice Speaker of Parliament; Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, decried the reluctance of men in promoting women.
“Men still don’t want to play an active role in helping to promote women. Gender is not a woman’s issue; it’s an issue of both sexes. This is a debate that we should openly have and men should know their role,” he said
The conference coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) and the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) on Women, Peace and Security.