Haguruka, in partnership with Kvinna Till Kvinna, trained a group of twenty-five ‘champions’ in the district of Musanze and the district of Gasabo. Participants included cell leaders, the youth committee at cell and sector level, the women’s council at cell level, friends of families (inshuti z’umuryango) and Haguruka paralegals in two working sectors in Musanze district.
This training highlighted gender-based violence and prevention through family conflict resolution. Open communication and discussion was encouraged, and participants were encouraged to train others in their community. During the training, participants were trained to recognize the signs of gender-based violence and study related laws and referral procedures.
One of the problems that the participants talked about was that gender-based violence happening families is mostly influenced by entrenched cultural beliefs. In traditional Rwandan culture, women are expected to always obey their husband’s decisions. When a woman wants to challenge her husband’s decisions, domestic violence can ensue. Many of the participants said that the training helped them realize they have been abusing their wives without knowing.
Participants realised the needs to change their own behaviour before they could expect change from others in their community. Community-dialogue will be encouraged to help couples in need of support. The next session will focus on community dialogue and the participants will be the ones to help Haguruka teach raise awareness on gender-based violence and prevention.