The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) gender desk plans to form clubs that will embark on fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV) by February next year, they will also help in alleviating poverty among women.
This was revealed by Lt. Augustin Ndemezo at a follow up meeting of Kigali city on the just concluded National Dialogue conference. They met at Nyarugenge District headquarters on Tuesday.
Ndemezo explained that the increasing cases of GBV most especially domestic violence have become a security and socio- economic menace within the Rwandan society. He added that women more than men were affected by the scourge.
Statistics show that one out of five women in Rwanda has experienced violence in their lives. A report by UNIFEM on gender based violence, which was released in September shows that one of the outstanding causes of the violence was economic dependency of women on their spouses.
“We cannot talk of combating GBV without fighting its causes. Poverty being one of the behind GBV, family economic empowerment is fundamental,” said Ndemezo.
He also said that economically empowered women are less likely to encounter violence as they always have a say in the family.
According to the RDF gender desk, economic empowerment can be achieved through creation of income generating projects that could be managed at community levels with the guidance and support of local administration.
The RDF desk also established that addressing the issues of GBV comprehensively requires an economic approach from the grassroots with a view to empower the rural communities but more particularly women who form majority of the poor.
The principle objectives of anti GBV clubs will include sensitization of the population on Gender equality and human rights, sensitising and creating collective approach towards the elimination of GBV.
In this plan of forming the clubs, RDF established anti-GBV focal points in all cells in Kigali City, which will be the nucleus for the formation of the clubs.
Two Anti-GBV clubs will be set up in each cell where each club will have at least 200 families. Women councils at sector levels in coordination with the RDF and local leadership will identify respective viable programmes considering the need to maximize production returns.
These clubs will later be turned into production units by March 2009 and they will help to increase the per capita income of rural residents of Kigali City to 100.000 Rwf by the year 2010.