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ENHANCING WOMEN’S RIGHTS,QUALITATIVE PARTICIPATION AND FREEDOM FROM VIOLENCE IN RWANDA

Since January 2018, Haguruka has conducted series of trainings on Gender-Based Violence and preventive measures for the Rwandan youths, families, law enforcement agencies and policy makers among others from Gasabo and Musanze District. The sessions aimed at raising public awareness on GBV prevention and the live in a Peaceful Family IINGO Z’AMAHORO).

Before taking this training, I did not know how to deal with a gender-based violence and how I could report similar situations. Of course, I was one among the people who were unable to differentiate gender from sex. As matter of fact, I could not intervene in solving conflict situations among neighbor families and even my own family. NTABANGANYIMANA Jean Pier, Gasabo District. Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and its prevention are still a challenge in Rwanda and a lot has to be done to deal with the GBV on the district and national levels. In this year of 2018, Haguruka (Non-Government Organization) initiated a pilot project aimed at raising awareness among the Rwandan youth, women and men in Gasabo and Musanze District on GBV writ and large, and on their rights and responsibilities in the fight against GBV.

From January to December 2018, Haguruka-NGO under the pilot project “of enhancing women’s rights, participation and freedom from violence” delivered its first training program to young Rwandans and couples from Bumbogo, Remera, Cyuve, and Musanze sectors. The training focused on raising awareness on the gender equality and legal frameworks governing GBV laws and women’s rights at the community level. Participants of the trainings benefited from the community dialogue sessions that encourage them to adapt to non-violence behavior and to resort peaceful means of resolving conflicts and stimulating healthy life style. They were also taught how to advocate for GBV prevention within their respective groups. With the same training, paralegals, national women council, national youth council and GBV committees were trained about GBV administration. These participants were equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to further promote gender-equality and to enable them to teach similar courses to other Rwandans.

To foster accountability and GBV prevention and response by the law enforcement and the leader of the government and non-government organization, Haguruka conducted trainings for police, GBV focal point, Army Gender Desk, Executive Secretary in charge of Social Affairs, Religious leaders, MAJ legal aid providers at district. More than 40 participants have benefited from the training on GVP policy, Law, and referral system that will enable them working closely with GBV committees to hold local leaders and services providers accountable to GBV prevention and response. Haguruka facilitated the training, community dialogue sessions, and awareness raising activities. Legal aid assistance was also rendered to GBV victims in the district of project implementation.

As can be seen, the training program was beneficial for both trainees and trainers where their understanding and behaviors were improved and changed. “I did not know to differentiate gender from sex, but not I am able to clearly recognize and ascertain what makes them different. Again, I have changed my attitude towards gender equality which definitely lead me to being able to teach other people about GBV preventions specifically about having equality in sharing and accessing available resources and opportunity such as economic participations and decision-making regardless of the sex” NTABANGANYIMANA Jean Pier.

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