The Social Security Fund yesterday held a conference to discuss Gender Based Violence (GBV). The meeting noted that GBV was still prevalent in “our society.”
The conference whose theme: “Women and men united to end violence against women” was held at Alpha palace Hotel in Remera.
Yvonne Mujawabega, Director of legal Department and chairperson for gender at SSFR, said that the conference is held annually to discuss various issues and promote government programmes.
A gender specialist with United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), John Mutamba was among those invited and he explained gender based violence at length.
He disclosed that there is misinformation and stereotypes evident in society that has led to continuous Gender Based Violence (GBV) mostly against women in Rwanda.
“There is misinformation of what is going on. People don’t exactly know what gender based violence is,” he said. During the discussion, he went on to clarify the difference between gender and sex.
“Sex identifies whether a person is a man or a woman but gender is social identification. Sex is inborn and gender is acquired,” he said. Focusing on gender he said that there is supposed to be equality and equity between men and women.
“There should be equality in terms of access, participation, rights and benefits. Being a woman or a man is not a problem but it becomes a problem when there is discrimination,” Mutamba said.
On equity which he termed ‘positive discrimination’, he explained that, “it is when people are treated differently but with the aim of achieving equality.”
Emphasizing that it is mostly women who are victims of social violence but said that “perpetrators and victims should come together and fight social violence.”
Donnah Kamashazi, UNIFEM’s Programme Director in Rwanda, said that the ratio of gender based violence in society of women to men was 85 percent to 15 percent.
Kamashazi further mentioned that GBV has continued to claim more female lives than men.
“In a period of three years since 2006, unlike 29 men killed by women in GBV situations, 259 women have died. But women get to kill in self defence,” she said. She added that, “since 2003 over 2000 children have been raped.”
Mujawabega said that the solution to GBV against women is for them to get educated. She also disclosed that men don’t allow women equal rights to the social security fund.
“More women should get education and employed. We shall help women start cooperatives and have something to do which will help them be part of the (SSFR), she said.
Earlier, SSFR employees were able to raise Rwf 862,000 that catered for the health insurance of 862 local dwellers in Kacyiru.