KIGALI - The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, is appealing to the public to stop blaming women entirely for the failure to bear children in marriages, saying it has played a role in exposing couples to risks like contracting HIV/Aids.
The Minister advised that the problem should be handled and shared by the couple since men too can be infertile.
Mujawamariya was addressing journalists after presiding over a workshop, where a survey presented to participants indicated that more women are being driven into sexual relationships outside marriage, because of constant blame over alleged infertility.
“Here in Rwanda, when a couple fails to get children, the blame is put on the wife yet even the husband can as well be liable,” Mujawamariya said.
“You find that because of constant nagging some women end up cheating on their husbands, in desperate search for a child.”
Organized jointly by Project Ubuzima-an international non-profit NGO comprising of researchers from Rwanda and INTERACT, a research and capacity building group, the workshop aimed at sharing views on sexual risk behaviours and sexually transmitted infections with focus on HIV/Aids.
The Minister advised young couples to avoid situations which may expose them to high risks of contracting not only Aids, but also other sexually transmitted diseases.
During the workshop, presentations were made on sexual risk behaviour in relation to poverty and the association between sexual behavior and infertility in Rwanda, among other things.
In her presentation, Dr. Nathalie Dhont from the University of Ghent stressed that the recent survey, indicated that infertility in Rwanda is mainly caused by sexually transmitted infections.
The workshop which took place in Kigali attracted among others, clinical officers, researchers, policy makers and health managers.