BELIEVING in past misconceptions on a role women can play in the society has brought wrangles which wouldn’t be catered for within most of the families from Musanze District if safe spaces for women were not in place.

Emmanuel Munyarugamba, a married man from Gacaca Sector vividly remembers how burden he was to his wife through denying her all rights as she is a wife which consequently had to brought ceaseless family’s disputes.

“I used to take decisions alone at our home, my wife had not any freedom of speech. She had not any control over how I spent my money as I used to call myself the unshakable king of the family, I knew that whatever a man decides in his home should be endorsed as it is,” He narrated

It is unfortunately the similar story for Jeanine Nyirasafari, the spouse of Munyarugamba who admits to have disrespected his husband as she was yet to know how valuable he is.

“I was that kind of woman who couldn’t understand the value of her spouse to the extent that whenever he left his clothes for laundry I couldn’t do so as I used to insist that he has to do it for himself,” She said

“I had given up on myself and life because of the abuse I was facing from my husband,” Nyirasafari added

Staring a new journey

The gender-based violence survivors from Musanze District who spoke to Express News noted that their mindsets have auspiciously changed thanks to the presence of Rwanda Women’s Network- an organisation that empowers women to be change-makers through gender equality.

Rwanda Women Network together with local officials initiated safe spaces for women locally known as ‘Urubuga rw’Abagore’ in which families victimized by Gender Based Violence are taken for a reflection process that helps them to better understand and overcome the vice.

Munyarugamba and his wife are among other 21 members that have been re-united through the safe space for women that operates in Gacaca Sector and thus they stress that they are reaping fruits of development.

“We are now working towards making our home more peaceful thanks to the support we got from safe space for women,” Nyirasafari noted

Munyarugamba echoed his wife sentiment expressing that for the first time in life they are now breeding cattle and “together with my wife have a joint plan to buy a plot of land to cultivate in next few days to come,”

The vice Mayor in charge of social affairs in Musanze District, Marie Claire Uwamariya, hailed the contribution of safe spaces for women toward curbing and preventing the Gender Based Violence within the community.

“Safe spaces for women were availed on the right time as Musanze District was paralysed by polygamous marriage consequences, those spaces complement with existing measures to eradicate Gender bases violence and they are bearing tangible fruits,” She observed

Uwamariya expressed parents’ evening forum (Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi), Friends of Family the Family (Inshuti z’Umuryango) among other major initiatives being implemented in the district in a move to fight against Gender Based Violence.

The Express News

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