An annual campaign against Gender Based Violence was yesterday launched in Kigali with a focus on eliminating violence against children as well as educating parents on protecting their youngsters.
The campaign dubbed "16 Days of Activism" was launched with a walk from Parliament to Amahoro National Stadium in protest against violence against women and girls.
Led by the Speaker of the chamber of deputies, Donatille Mukabarisa, the walk attracted hundreds of people including government officials, clerics and activists.
The campaign runs through December 10. It is held under the theme, "Building the family we want. Say no to child Defilement."
The annual event aims to raise awareness against violence, especially on women and girls.
Mukabarisa said that, despite the progress made, fighting gender based violence is a continuous battle.
"Reports show us an increase in unwanted pregnancies among young girls, we should stand up against the issue," she said.
Mukabarisa addressing the participants at Amahoro National Stadium in Remera yesterday. Frederic Byumvuhore
She called on parents and teachers to focus on educating the children on their rights.
The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Solina Nyirahabimana, said that during the campaign, parents are approached and reminded about their role in raising children as well as take care of victims of GBV.
"Celebrating this annual event should be the time to examine ourselves on the progress in fighting Gender Based Violence. We encourage families to provide support to victims of Gender Based Violence," she said.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda, Fodé Ndiaye, noted that the young generation should be well protected and educated.
"Not only does human violence affect the victims, but it also destroys the future of the country and world in general. GBV is universal and should be addressed. The issue is preventable. Saying no to violence should be our chorus to ensure that children, especially young girls, are safe from any violence. UN will keep on investing more efforts to fight gender based violation," he added.