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Gender Based Violence is defined as “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

On October 27, 2021 Rwanda NGOs Forum in a coalition with Ihorere Munyarwanda Organization, Health Development Initiative and Great Lakes Initiative for Human Rights Development has organized a “Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Effective Prevention Measures and Reponses to Address Gender Based Violence against Women and Girls in Rwanda” to identify gaps and challenges related to the implementation of GBV responses.

In his opening remarks Kagaba Aflodis the head of the coalition acknowledged the significant progress and political will of the Government of Rwanda to fight against Gender Based Violence and highlighted the importance of young generation engagement to ensure that programs and policies to end GBV are well implemented and monitored.

“We need to identify what is unfinished business. What can we do to ensure that our women, men young boys and girls live in a country that has no GBV? We need to ensure that programs and policies that are there are well implemented. As civil society, we believe that advocacy will help us continue to have an enabling environment where everyone in our country will enjoy gender equality, inclusion and ensure that the rights of everyone are respected” He continued

Over the last 25 years, violence against women has been increasingly recognized as major health, human rights and development issues. Different Studies on all forms of violence against women recommend intensified actions to eliminate violence against women at all levels and urge countries to enhance coordination and intensify their efforts to eliminate violence against women in a more systematic, comprehensive and sustained way.

The Government of Rwanda and its partners have deployed considerable efforts to strategically address GBV challenges. Commendable achievements include wide awareness raising on GBV, establishment of Isange one Stop Centers to provide legal, medical and psychosocial support to victims of GBV; recently the establishment of a sex offender registry. Despite efforts and successes highlighted above, this scourge is yet to be eradicated.

The stakeholders Dialogue Forum aimed to:

  1. To identify gaps and  challenges related to the implementation national GBV responses with the view to suggest adequate remedies
  2. To solicit commitment of decision-makers towards responding to emerging issues related to GBV
  3. To explore opportunities for synergies between state and non-state actors in the fight against GBV

1 Among 3 women and Girls worldwide experience violence in their lifetime, and many women who have suffered from violence are left silent and afraid of the consequences if they speak out about the experience.

According to Anastase Nabahire, the Coordinator of JRLOS in the Ministry of Justice, new initiatives will be put in place to make sure the country is able to effectively address GBV against women and girls.

“We need to make sure our laws are strong in order to stop this crime. All aspects have been thought of, and needed provisions have been put in place to exactly fight GBV and stop GBV. We are determined to initiate new initiatives to make sure that in collaboration with all stakeholders of the justice sector as well as some others out of the sector, we can effectively address GBV,” he said.

To address GBV, there is the need for a coordinated, inter-agency, and multi-sectoral strategies that aim for prevention through policy reform and implementation of protective mechanisms and building the capacity of health, social welfare, legal and security systems to recognize, monitor, and respond to GBV, in addition to ensure rapid and respectful services to victims as GBV is a persistent and Widespread Global Tragedy that needs to end.

Collectively We Can End Gender Based Violence