The President of the Senate, Bernard Makuza said that Rwanda’s stand in responding to violence that women, girls and children face is “unshakable” and that “no one has a tight to violate rights of others.”

The senate President made the remarks, yesterday, while officially launching this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, held at Amahoro stadium.

“There is unshakable political will and ability to talkle violence that women, girls and children continue to face. Gender based violence and child abuse is a threat to life, family and the entire community, which affects the national development agenda. You can’t talk of development when rights of some people continue to be violated,” he said.

The annual campaign scheduled to end on December 10, is a moment to further raise awareness and engage the community to eradicate gender based violence and child abuse.

This year’s campaign is held under the theme: “End Violence against Women and Girls: Speak Out.”

It reinforces the “UNiTE Campaign,” a commitment to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world.

“A single case of violence is a threat to someone’s life. All people are equal before the law; torture of any sort is unacceptable. We have to respond to this problem from a broad perspective jointly, but it starts with ownership to break silence,” he said.

While commending the role of security organs and the justice sector in fighting the vices, the Senate President noted that this spirits should define and be part of all entities and Rwandans in general at all times to protect and promote the rights of the vulnerable groups.

He further said that initiatives like Umugorobaw’ababyeyi and Isange One Stop centre continue to play a vital role in raising awareness and protecting the rights of women, girls and children.

There are currently 44 Isange centres across the country, which offer free medical, psycho-socio and legal services to victims of gender violence and child abuse.

The launch of the campaign started with a “walk against gender violence” from the parliamentary building that saw the youth brave the rain to the national stadium.

“The brave spirit of these young people to walk through the rain is an indication of hope that Rwandans stand together and strong. ”
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari also appealed to children to listen and respect their parents.

She also called upon victims of violence to seek Isange services, where in case sexual assault, the pregnancy or HIV infections can be prevented.

The One-UN Resident Coordinator, Fode Ndiaye, said that “Rwanda’s future is in good hands” adding that this is an indication that “the future of children and women is also in good hands.”

He commended the country’s commitment to tackle challenges of GBV and child abuse, which he attributed to good leadership, sighting Isange One stop centre as an “example to the world.”

The official launch that also included testimonies from couples that were living with conflicts, was also attended by senior government officials including ministers, as well as heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations.

It is expected that during the 16 days of activism, there will be community awareness, talkshows on radios and TVs, and trying of cases related to GBV and child abuse, among others.

RNP’s approach

Rwanda has over the years taken strides in protecting and promoting the rights of women, girls and children including proclamation of legal policies.

As part of RNP’s effort to implement the national agenda to prevent the vices, the force established the anti-GBV and child abuse directorate, gender desks at all District Police Units, set up toll-free lines – 3512 and 116 for GBV and child-help line, respectively – and has been hands on in raising awareness in communities and in schools.

The awareness also saw the creation of anti-GBV and child abuse in communities and schools.

Isange One Stop Centre mobile clinic as well as the criminal investiations mobile services have helped victims in remote villages to also report challenges they face.

The Express News

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