The role of the media and art has been critical in increasing public awareness of gender equality and fighting Gender Based Violence in the country, officials have said.
The observation was made Thursday during a meeting that brought together media practitioners, artists and sports personalities to discuss their role in promoting gender accountability in Rwanda.
Officials acknowledged that the media and art have helped influence the masses in this aspect.
However, more needs to be done, it was noted.
The Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu, said that promoting gender equality is a responsibility for all.
“When you are composing a song or developing any other artistic work, do you take in account the impact of the messages we release into the community? Does that message add value to the community?” Uwacu posed.
She also challenged journalists to always consider the implication of their write-ups or broadcasts in society to ensure they do not end up supporting any form of discrimination, but instead use their platforms to play their role in building a cohesive nation.
Marie Immaculee Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency Rwanda, urged artistes to use their influence in society in the interest of the country.
“You command respect and enjoy admiration especially among the youth, and you should use that status to impact society positively,” she told the musicians present.
Ingabire gave the example of songs whose lyrics she said constitute abusive language or despise women and music videos that contain immoral scenes such as half-naked women.
These, he said, are other forms of gender based violence that some people may at times be committing unintentionally.
Ingabire, however, said that women who agree to feature in such videos naked are equally to blame.
Jay Polly, born Joshua Tuyishime, a rapper and painter, said artistes have generally improved but some are still being misled by their handlers.