Government officials, members of civil society and development partners on Friday joined hundreds of Kigali City residents in a solidarity march held at the launch of the annually held 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The walk, that started from Parliament Buildings, ended at Petit Stade in Remera where a meeting was held presided over by senate president Bernard Makuza.
At Petit Stade Remera discussions on the matter were held, with special focus on this year’s theme, which is ‘End Violence against Women and Girls: Speak Out.”
Addressing the gathering, Makuza said people should be proud of living in a country with zero violence against anyone, saying that this can only be realised if everyone in the community reports any such occurrence whenever it manifests.
“Having a country free of Gender Based Violence is something that benefits all Rwandans in all aspects, and it is something that is possible as long as there is political will to end violence in the communities,” Makuza said.
“People should not hide those who commit any form of violence, especially violence against women and girls. They should report them immediately so that authors are held accountable.”
He tipped children on their rights, saying that reporting any form of violence against them will go a long way in having it uprooted from communities.
“Children and the youth should join efforts to end GBV in their respective communities by fighting jointly teenage pregnancies. This is a serious issue that hinders the country’s development. We need to all join hands to fight it,” Makuza said.
Gender and Family Promotion minister Esperance Nyirasafari called on eradicating GBV among communities countrywide, insisting it is everyone’s responsibility be it men, women and the young generation to fight it.
“Eradicating GBV requires collective efforts, it should a preserve for women, men or youth but all citizens. With involvement of all actors, I believe Rwanda can see an end to GBV as soon as possible. Nothing is impossible as long as people a committed,” the minister said.
The Government has so far rolled out different strategies to fight Gender Based Violence, by establishing 44 Isange One-Stop Centres countrywide that offer counseling services for GBV victims in all district hospital, from all the corners of the country to help women affected by GBV-related overcome the period of mental instability.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence will run from November 25 to December 10, where different discussions will be held to educate the community in ending GBV in their families.