Judges from several African, Rwandan and Latin American countries are in the country for a consultative dialogue on women’s rights to health.
The dialogue was organised by Rwanda Supreme Court, in partnership with Women’s Link Worldwide, an international women platform that uses the power of the law to promote social change and advance the rights of women and girls.
The two-day meeting brings together judges of Rwanda’s Supreme Court, High Court and Intermediate Court and their counterparts from Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda to dialogue with peers from Latin American countries of Colombia and Argentina.
They are expected to share experiences and challenges in enforcing women’s and girls’ rights to health, as well as address the role of courts in guaranteeing human rights with reference to international and regional laws.
Opening the dialogue, yesterday, Chief Justice Sam Rugege said they would discuss several issues affecting women rights with specific attention to sexual violence, early marriages and abortion problems.
“The discussion is expected to tackle a number of issues around motherhood, especially on abortion, processes of abortion resulting from rape, and or other sexual violence,” Prof. Rugege said.
“It is also a platform to cross-check on the available legal framework in addressing those problems by taking stock of how other countries have navigated through those issues.”
Rugege told the media that the justice sector complements well with the health sector, especially on legal obligations of human rights as stipulated by the national constitution.
“If one’s right in every sector, health included, is violated, people can seek justice from courts. That is where we come in. We are also learning from each other the best way we can advise our governments to deal with gender-based violence,” he added.
The meeting is expected to discuss the role of courts in guaranteeing human rights with reference to international and regional laws.
Gender and Family Promotion minister Esperance Nyirasafari said challenges affecting women and girls were a setback in the country’s journey in the promotion of family.
“Two of the most common challenges we have been fighting against is gender based violence and poverty,” she said.
According to the minister, the Government has dedicated resources to the improvement of family, especially on intervention that improves livelihood.
“We enhanced mechanisms for ensuring equality in employment, assets, economic benefits, decision-making at the grassroots level, among others,” she added.