RUSIZI: The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloisea Inyumba, has told Bugarama Sector residents, in Rusizi District, be wary of the dangers of polygamy.
Speaking during national celebrations to mark the Rural Woman Day which took place in Bugarama at the weekend, she told the women to value themselves and their contribution to society, and as such should not tolerate polygamy.
“Women make up 52 per cent of the Rwandan population and 60 per cent of the country’s revenue comes from rural women through their agricultural activities,” said the minister. She called upon local authorities to address the polygamy issue as a matter of urgency.
Echoing the minister’s sentiments, the Executive Secretary for Bugarama Sector, Egide Gatera said that a major cause of the escalating cases of polygamy includes religious beliefs since a majority of the residents are of the Muslim faith, which permits polygamy.
“The other cause is the immigrants from Burundi and the DRC who come in search of jobs at the cement factory and end up taking second wives,” she said. But Bugarama women blame their husband’s for laziness for taking second wives.
“They look out for well-to-do women even when they already have wives. An example is my husband, who took a fourth wife recently because she is wealthy,” said Sarafina Mukamusoni, a mother of two.
One of the solutions taken on the day to discourage polygamy included conducting a mass wedding for co-habiting partners.
Meanwhile, Rusizi women were given a tractor worth Rwf15m donated by President Paul Kagame to assist them in their farming activities.
“This is a token from the President. He wants you to embrace co-operatives so that you can achieve economic development,” said Inyumba.
Indashyikirwa, a widows’ co-operative was awarded a certificate and a cheque of Rwf200,000 for their achievements, which include starting the successful co-operative from a scratch.