Ignorance a major cause of GBV—activists

MUHANGA - women in Muhanga District have requested for more education on family laws as a way of addressing the problem of ignorance, which they said is the major cause of the escalation of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in Rwanda.
‘We can’- Women make their statement on eliminating GBV  at the meeting in Muhanga (Photo D.Sabiiti)
‘We can’- Women make their statement on eliminating GBV at the meeting in Muhanga (Photo D.Sabiiti)

MUHANGA - women in Muhanga District have requested for more education on family laws as a way of addressing the problem of ignorance, which they said is the major cause of the escalation of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in Rwanda.

The women made the call during an open public debate on GBV organized by the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in collaboration with the organization that brings together women in the great lakes region, (COCAFEM/GL).

The debate was held in Muhanga under the theme: “We can end all violence against women”, and was partly organized as a follow-up on the national campaign against GBV.

Muhanga District police statistics indicate that most GBV cases reported are not followed up by the abused or violated women, mostly because of lack of knowledge on court proceedings, criteria of justice and the importance of family laws.

The figures revealed that out of 108 cases reported between October and December; only 24 reached the prosecution while only eight were followed up beyond this stage.

“The issues raised in this debate have been beneficial because it’s through such sharing that we can learn from other people’s experience on how to deal with family conflicts, which is mainly caused by sexual dissatisfaction among couples,” said Aline Uwabagira, one of the participants.

Pudentienne Uzamukunda, a YWCA official, highlighted the need to have a common consensus on eliminating GBV as a means of realizing family development and increasing women’s contribution to national growth.

The participants recommended that deeper awareness campaigns on GBV be carried out, and education of couples on how to deal with family conflicts, using mediators, and seeking legal aid.

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