Church leaders urged to champion gender parity

Clerics across the country have been challenged to play a major role in promoting gender equality as they are well-positioned to interact frequently with their followers.

Clerics across the country have been challenged to play a major role in promoting gender equality as they are well-positioned to interact frequently with their followers.

The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzirwa, said given that family members are the ones who constitute churches, collaboration of church leaders with government can make many objectives achievable.

Gasinzigwa was, on Wednesday, meeting church representatives as part of events prepared ahead of the International Women’s Day, which was celebrated yesterday.

She said clerics are in daily contact with their followers and command a lot of influence on them, meaning that any programme embraced by clerics can easily be accepted by their congregations.

“Apart from healing hearts, churches promote family values among their responsibilities and we have to work hand-in-hand to reach this target of ensuring the welfare of families,” she said.

According to Gasinzigwa, many development programmes have succeeded because of church involvement. The Girl Child education, for instance, she said have been “heavily influenced by church leaders.

Bishop Augustin Mvunabandi of the Anglican Church, Kigeme Diocese, recognised the role of church leaders in ensuring success of development-oriented programmes.

“We have different churches but we share a target of ensuring spiritual growth of the family, and this cannot be achieved with conflict in the families,” he said.

Bishop Mvunabandi said the target of growing spiritually cannot be achieved while having gender based violence in families, which he said must be addressed to have these believers growing spiritually.

During the course of this month, different activities will be carried out aiming at promoting women.

It is also a time to identify in which domain to put more emphasis in order to make sure that gender and family promotion are respected among Rwandans.

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