Couples need to respect their spouse’s rights from the onset of their marriages to avoid circumstances that hinder family development, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari, has said.
Speaking at the closure of the Women Empowerment Month last Friday in Rukara Sector, Kayonza District, Minister Nyirasafari stressed the need for harmonious families.
“Everywhere we go, families tell touching stories of how they changed and started respecting each other after years of violence. It is good that people change but it is better to respect each other than to change after causing grave harm to your spouse,” said Nyirasafari.
The minister recalled how women were held in high regard in ancient Rwanda with such monikers as ‘heart of the family’, adding that it’s only in the recent history that woman started to be alienated.
“Our history is clear: we had respect for each other as a family. It was of recent that women were discriminated from school, denied the right to property and others,” said Minister Nyirasafari.
The provincial governor, Judith Kazayire, said there was a significant increase of women participation in policy-making and financial inclusion in the Eastern Province.
“We are happy that at least 50 per cent of policy-makers in Eastern Province are women, while about 40 per cent of bank services are consumed by women,” said Kazayire.
She cited several businesses run by women cooperatives, including Twongere Umusaruro coffee factory in Kayonza District which ministry officials toured.
Kazayire called upon girls to embrace technical and vocational education to increase their chances of employment.
At the ceremony, a couple, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and Beatrice Nzakamwita, testified how they had lived in constant disputes for many years until they learnt to respect each other.
Nzakamwita said: “after receiving counselling from authorities we now live in harmony. The first sign that showed me that my husband had changed, he asked me for forgiveness.”
She said that since then, her husband enrolled their children to school, both the girls and boys.
Women Empowerment Month started on March 8.