The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Lawmakers Demand End to Gender Based Violence

MPs yesterday launched the sixteen days of activism with a call on Rwandans to respect gender equality and fight against violence subjected to women and girls.

In statement issued on Saturday, ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which is marked on November 25, the lawmakers reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating with all stakeholders to stem gender based violence by mobilising the population to play their role in the fight.

Parliament "pledges, with men's participation, to keep on playing its role in mobilising the Rwandan Community as to the understanding of the concept of gender equality and the fight against Gender Based Violence the women and girls are subjected to," the lawmakers said in the statement.

The House hailed the government's policies and programmes that foster women empowerment, especially the "Kuremera" (start up provision) programme meant for the poor and other activities meant to foster peace at the household level, by mobilising men and women to stay closer to their children thereby protecting them from violence.

The release also commends the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police for their role of keeping peace and security, locally, in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

It denounces acts that disrupt peace and security, including wars, terrorism, violence, torture and other dehumanising acts whether in the region, or elsewhere in the world.

The Chamber of Deputies, among other things, calls for the elimination of violence against women and girls, continued efforts towards women and girls' economic empowerment, and calls upon women and girls "not to be afraid" to denounce the violence they are subjected to.

It urges all Rwanda residents to work together to fight and denounce home-based violence, especially violence against women and girls, and also calls upon security organs to continue to prevent and fight acts that can threaten the security of the country and of all Rwanda residents.

The statement says the Chamber of Deputies joins the people around the world in particular Rwandans in general in launching the 16 days of activism to fight violence against women.

The 16 days of activism end on December 10, to coincide with the International Human Rights Day.

During this period, the lawmakers will conduct sensitisation campaigns against gender based violence across the country.

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as designated by the UN.

This year's world theme is "From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World," while the theme for Rwanda is "Together let's end Gender Based Violence."

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