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Residents in Ngororero District have been called on to avoid conflicts in families, polygamy and irresponsible parenting as main factors contributing to youth delinquency, which also in turn expose them to higher risks of Gender Based Violence and Abuse.
The call was made yesterday during a visit in the area by the Gender Monitoring Office and stakeholders to discuss and devise measures to prevent Gender Based Violence and assist its victims.
During the visit, the Gender Monitoring Office met groups of young girls who were impregnated at age of under 18 who now supported by two local Non-Governmental Organisations namely Point d’écoute and Adepe.
Testimonies of some young girls impregnated at early age show that the girls were abused after they had fled their families and opted for other life such as working as home maids, who exposed them to risks of abuse.
“I left our home because my parents were unable to carter for my daily needs. My parents used to quarrel and crash in conflicts every day. We lived in extreme poverty and we could not easily find food and other home basic needs. I then decided to go to work as a home maid, where I was impregnated at the age of 16 by my workmate’’ One girl testified during the meeting which gathered more than 100 young girls impregnated at age under 18.
According to the Rwanda National Police, which was among the stakeholders, most of abused young girls impregnated at early age are from families that either have persisting conflicts or those whose husbands are polygamous, which led to misuse of property and irresponsible parenting.
In her closing remarks, the Deputy Chief Gender Monitor in charge of fighting Injustice and Gender Based Violence Mrs. Mukandasira Caritas called on parents in general to avoid conflicts and respect each other in families, and also care for their children which will help to fight against youth delinquency exposing them to Gender Based Violence.
“Most of children are abused after dropping out from schools, not cared for in families, and thus end up in living in miserable and vulnerable life. Parents should be primarily protect the children and ensure they provide positive parenting” the deputy chief Gender Monitor added.
Ngororero district leaders say that challenges related to polygamy and conflicts in families are frequent in the area. District leaders says that residents are usually requested to usually report GBV such cases once they occur so that the perpetrators can be prosecuted.