Rwanda Launches the 16 Days of Activism Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Rwanda on Friday last week joined the rest of the world launching the ‘16 Days of Activism’, a campaign that aims to mobilize action towards ending violence against women and girls and enhance commitment of different actors in addressing this vice in all its forms.

This campaign ran at the national level under the theme ‘End violence against women and girls: Speak out’ while at the global level it was themed “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls.”

A walk

The campaign was launched in Kigali at the national level and started with a walk from the Parliament to Petit Stade Amahoro. The walk brought together senior government officials, development partners, civil society organisations, members of the private sector, army and police top brass, secondary and university students, and groups of women rights activists.

They marched carrying different posts with anti-GBV messages to express their commitment to denounce Gender Based Violence against Women and Girls in the Rwandan community. 

Speaking about this campaign, Mrs. Esperance Nyirasafari the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence at all levels.

‘‘Gender Based Violence is a total disrespect of human rights and it delays the country’s development as victims are deprived their role and contribution in the national development. Prevention and eradicating the GBV in all its forms should be everyone’s responsibility with all involvement of all actors,’’ said the Minister.

Speak out

The Minister further called on the general public to avoid the culture of remaining silent on GBV cases rather advised to timely report them to concerned institutions as a way of full eradicating this vice.

Main activities

During the whole period of 16 Days of the Campaign, different main activities will be carried out. These include trying GBV and child abuse cases pending before courts and identification of teen mothers who have not yet reported their cases to the Judicial Police and facilitating them to lodge complaints.

In the same spirit of making known the national legal frameworks on GBV, awareness on the Law on prevention and punishment of gender-based violence, and law governing persons and family as well as other relevant laws will be carried out in different parts of the country with full involvement of different actors.

The 16 days’ campaign against violence on Women and Girls was initiated as a global strategy by institutions, individuals and groups to call for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Its starting date and end date (25 November to 10 December 2017, every year) coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Right Day respectively.