Gender Monitoring Office, in partnership with Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rulindo District, yesterday launched a three-day exhibition showcasing Rwanda's gains in gender equality initiatives.
The exhibition, that is in the framework of "Gender Accountability Day," was organised under the theme, "Sustaining gender equality gains, accelerating change for inclusive growth."
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Espérance Nyirasafari, said gender-based violence (GBV) and child abuse are serious offences punishable by law and expressed appreciation on how institutions like the Judiciary and Police have stood up strong against the vice.
"Exploit Isange One-Stop Centres and remember that one of the ways of eliminating GBV and child abuse is breaking the silence. Development can never be attained or sustained when some continue to face discrimination and abuse from society in which they live and this is why the Government of Rwanda has maintained a strong stance in the fight against all forms of GBV," she said.
Among the main exhibitors is RNP, whose stand hosts Mobile Police Station, Isange One-Stop Centre mobile van, and community policing activities.
Present at the launch was the Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Evode Uwizeyimana; the Governor of Northern Province, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi; and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Emmanuel K Gasana, among other officials.
'GBV a matter of security'
IGP Gasana detailed Police's commitment toward ensuring gender equality and promotion, saying GBV should be tackled as a matter of priority.
"RNP has put in place several mechanisms to address cases of GBV and child abuse but also reaches out to the public to educate them as a preventive measure," he said.
The establishment of Isange One-Stop Centres ensures provision of holistic 24-hour service to victims of GBV under one roof so as to avoid re-victimisation, risk of spoiled evidence and delayed justice. There are 43 operational centres across the country.
Gasana also hinted on the expansion of Police's outreach facilities like the mobile vans so that the force use in response to crime.
The three-day exhibition is also expected to serve as an opportunity to discuss mechanisms to further improve institutional accountability to gender equality and GBV service delivery and also raise awareness on gender accountability and GBV prevention and response.
During that time, the Police mobile vans will be receiving and handling complaints from residents, while police officers will be conducting public awareness under the community policing framework.
Chief Gender Monitor Rose Rwabuhihi said: "We all have to ensure that the existing efforts and synergies toward promoting gender equality and combating GBV are maintained. We also have to ensure that gender equality principles remain everyone's responsibility at all levels."
The UN Women Representative to Rwanda, Fatou Lo, said: "Today women from all parts of the country are able to celebrate achievements made in gender equality. What Rwanda has achieved is very remarkable."
The launch of the exhibition was attended by over 3,000 participants including stakeholders from public and private institutions, security organs, development partners, civil society organisations, local government leaders, as well as Rulindo residents.
The Gender Accountability Day is in the framework of the national governance and family campaign, which was launched last week in Kirehe District and run until December 2017.