Senators have called on the government to step up stringent measures to reduce domestic conflicts and violence which continue to be registered in high numbers in the country.
The senate had on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Local Government and Social Affairs, and the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion to explain the rising conflicts in households in the country and how government plans to deal with the problem.
Senator Gallican Niyongana emphasised that these conflicts not only lead to violence but also distract people as they spend time wrangling instead of focusing on working to develop their households and the nation in general.
Gender and Family Promotion minister Esperance Nyirasafari, explained that there is political will to ensure that the family flourishes.
She cited policies in place on gender balance, family planning, Early Childhood Development Centres, and Umugoroba w’ababyeyi, and cooperation with civil society organisations, churches and the media, among other programmes that seek to promote safety of families.
Nyirasafari also said the government reinforced response to domestic violence through establishment of Isange One Stop Centres, mobile clinics to cater for GBV victims, anti-GBV desks that have been set up in different police stations across the country as well as a forensic laboratory, which is under construction.
According to Local Government minister Francis Kaboneka, land shortage, poverty, adultery, drugs, ignorance are the leading causes of domestic violence which has at times resulted into deaths.
He said creation of off-farm jobs will reduce dependence on land.
Kaboneka revealed that misconception on gender balance, family planning, negative beliefs, and polygamy still undermine efforts to address the issue.
The ministers cited strengthening of existing programs, information sharing and cooperation with stakeholders, and regular evaluation as possible solutions to the problem.
Senator Dr Jean-Damascene Ntawukuriryayo cited lack of family planning where families end up with children they cannot support as a major source of family wrangles in the country he called for the strengthening of family planning.
Senator Narcisse Musabeyezu said studies into domestic violence should not be generic but rather deep so as to know which specific groups are more vulnerable.
“We should know whether domestic violence is notorious among the educated, farmers, the poor or the rich. This can lead to suitable and sustainable responses,” he said.