The Catholic Church in Ruhango District has joined the Rwanda National Police (RNP) efforts to raise awareness in the promotion of the rights of women and prevention of gender based violence.
On October 20, the catholic church through its ‘Justice for Peace’ organization officially closed a two-day seminar of 127 women who have either witnessed or fallen victim of GBV.
The seminar focused on enlightening the women on various local and international legal instruments that protect and advance the rights of women and how they are applied in Rwanda’s context.
The District Community Liaison Officer (DCLO), Inspector of Police (IP) Angelique Abijuru told the participants that both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rwandan Constitution clearly specifies how all people are equal adding that any discrimination based on gender is classified as criminal and punishable by law.
IP Abijuru particularly said that article 11 of…clearly criminalize all forms of discrimination while article 15 of the Rwandan constitution states that “no person shall be subjected to torture, physical abuse or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
“These elements proves why institutions come together to fight GBV,” said IP Abijuru.
She went on to enlighten trainees on the United Nation’s 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women which stipulates that women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
The first line of combating gender related issues, she said, is for the victims to learn to report challenges they face and urged them to always report any form of violence they face or witness.
“The Rwandan penal code in its articles 197 and 245 punishes GBV. Be assured that any case you report to police will be handled and appropriate action taken.”
Madeléne Ikitegetse, the in charge of civil affairs in the district, said GBV affects not only the family but the nation at large. “Where there is no family development there can’t be national development. Still, a family cannot develop when its embroiled in conflicts,” Ikitegetse said.
At the end of the training, attendant resolved to create jobs through formation of associations and exploit financial institutions as a way of family development, and to hold the umbrella in raising awareness and fighting GBV.