Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) is sensitising spouses of its servicemen and women across the country about gender-based violence as part of broader efforts to fight the vice among families of the uniformed personnel and in the communities in general.
The awareness campaign has already covered Ngoma, Huye, Rusizi, Karongi, Rubavu and Musanze districts.
The drive is in line with the ongoing 16 Days campaign on violence against women and girls launched by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion last week.
The campaign is running under the theme “End Violence against Women and Girls: Speak out” and will run until December 10.
The RDF anti-GBV campaign is in the form of workshops that were launched in Ngoma District on Monday by the 211 Brigade Commander Col Jomba Gakumba and the District vice mayor in charge of social affairs, Providence Kirenga, according to a statement from RDF.
By December 5, the campaign will have engaged 1632 spouses of servicemen and women, it said.
While opening the workshop, Col Gakumba hailed military spouses for helping to safeguard peace and harmony in their homes as well as their neighborhoods.
“As your spouses are excelling in their respective units, formations and in missions abroad, it is obvious that you are playing a key role in all this because charity begins at home,” said Col Gakumba. “We don’t expect to see any GBV incident in your neighbourhoods.”
Kirenga thanked RDF for the “wonderful forum for spouses of military men and women” and challenged participants to follow in the footsteps of their husbands and wives.
“We admire the work of the military and hope you’re the ones who inspire them to do what they are doing,” she said.
Kirenga asked women to stand firm against gender based violence.
During the opening, a participant, Jeanette Musanabera, took time to highlight RDF’s endeavours to bring together families of servicemen and women. “This is our big family and we applaud RDF for bringing us together.”
Today, the workshop will be conducted in Karongi District in Western Province.
Similar workshops have been conducted by RDF on several occasions previously.