KIGALI - The Vice Mayor of Kigali City, Hope Tumukunde, insists that ongoing campaigns to enhance gender balance and women empowerment should not overshadow the Rwandan cultural values.
She made these remarks yesterday during an interview on the sidelines of a meeting organized by the Kigali City Council and the Ministry of Gender and Family Protection, (MIGEPROF), to discuss the importance of upholding culture in families and the society at large.
The mayor explained that some spouses had abandoned their responsibilities under the guise of gender balance in everyday life, hence leading to family instability.
“People still have irrelevant ideology on current changes in society, like gender balance and women empowerment. These movements should empower us to contribute positively to our family development instead of exciting us to conflict with other family members,” Tumukunde said.
“Every member of the society has a role to play, though some abandon their roles under the guise of gender balance.
For example, women naturally should produce children and perform some related responsibilities, just like men and children have their responsibilities also.”
Boniface Rucyagu, the head of Itorero R’yigihugu urged families to restore their family values, which he said are related to natural features among humans.
“Our culture builds from the God-given features. For example, a baby girl starts acting like a mother because it is natural. We should endeavour to restore this lost culture.”
The Director General at MIGEPROF, Alfred Karekezi mentioned that the decline in culture accelerated Gender Based Violence.
He said, “According to our family norms, members should discuss issues and reach consensus; but violate these norms when they start disagreeing, fighting, and injuring each other.”
The meeting also attracted church leaders among others.
Hope Tumukunde disclosed that the meeting targeted Kigali City residents because their family problems are unique; including a rise in divorce cases, balancing family with a busy work schedule and street kids.
Discussing and finding appropriate measures to counter such family problems is part of the activities undertaken in the ongoing National Family Week.