16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence

Gender-based violence is a universal reality existing in all societies regardless of economic status, class, culture or any other diversity. Many women and girls have experienced, and continue to experience, this form of violence, which has adversely affected their well being, as well as limiting their ability to effectively participate at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. This occurs due to the patriarchal nature of Rwandan society and harmful cultural beliefs, which oppress women and leave them to suffer in silence. Inhumane acts have continued to prevent women and girls from achieving their maximum potential, and have compromised their physical and psychological integrity.

The consequences for children who survive GBV are especially grave. Sexual violence against children was identified as the most common violent crime in Rwanda. To illustrate, 65% of survivors treated at Isange-One-Stop Center in Kigali are children, with 94.5% being girls. The highest cases of defilement in Kigali and the Southern Province were committed in Gasabo & Ruhango districts.

In partnership with GIZ, on 28th November 2017 Haguruka NGO officially launched "16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence" in Rusororo sector-Mbandazi Cell. 16 Days of Activism is an international annual campaign that was started by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) in 1991. Normally the 16 Days run from 25th November, "The International Day against Violence against Women", to 10th December "The International Human Rights Day", to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and emphasise that such violence is a violation of human rights. During this period, Haguruka provides legal aid service though a mobile legal clinic in 3 sectors of Gasabo District including Bumbogo, Ndera and Rusororo sector.