The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Anti-GBV Campaign Taken to Rwamagana

Rwamagana — A campaign against Gender Based Violence was launched yesterday in Nzige sector of Rwamaagana district yesterday.

The event which was in line with the international 16 Days of Activism Against GBV, was characterised by songs, poems and drama decrying the effects of GBV in communities.

Vulnerable women were given cows as a gesture to show support from the society.

MP Alphonsine Mukamugema, who presided over the event, called for an aggressive approach in ensuring that women who bear the brunt of most gender violence acts are given opportunities and platforms to be educated on the subject.

The legislature said that the event was launched in Eastern Province mainly due to the fact that the province ranked number one in GBV prevalence in the country.

She said that recent statistics, released in September this year ranked Eastern Province top in defilement cases.

The police report that was read by the MP indicated that at least 96 females were sexually assaulted in Eastern Province.

Kigali City followed with 65; Northern and Southern Provinces were ranked third with 60 while Western Province followed with 49 cases.

"In Eastern Province this year; 22 women were raped. 131 children were defiled among them two boys and 129 girls," she said quoting police figures.

"It is not by accident that we launched GBV campaign in this Province...It actually ranks number one in the vice. Only Kigali is second to it...it is high time we ended the violence against women," she said.

"We must reflect on the effects of GBV and put an end to it...let everybody take it as a responsibility."

Yvonne Muhongayire, the Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Rwamagana district said that GBV was part of the obstacles to the country's development, which should be fought by everyone in all ways.

She appealed to the public to give no mercy to GVB crimes by reporting those involved in such acts, and to help neighbours in settling conflicts or to seek help from concerned authorities.

Rwamagana district has suffered the biggest share of domestic violence, with several couples involved in grisly murders.

Fredericka Munyensanga, 56, a resident said that GBV was still a silent crime in most homes.

"It is a sad reality that GBV against either men or women is still common in communities. Most rural families are embroiled in conflicts and violence due to ignorance, illiteracy and poverty...so, any approach must be holistic in nature," he said.

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