United Nations says African states must adapt to Rwanda’s style of fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV), and establish counseling centres for victims.

In 2009, Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, launched Isange One Stop Centre at Kacyiru Police Hospital in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

The center provides a package of services that include medical, psychosocial-counseling, safe room services where victims receive free services like food, clothes and shelter, before accessing quick justice.

“Rwanda serves as a specific example in ending violence against women and girls,” said Lamin M. Manneh, the One-UN Rwanda Resident Coordinator. “Other African states and security organs should draw similar initiatives to end impunity.”

Manneh was speaking at the fourth Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) in Kigali (November 24).

Isange One Stop Centre has since had tremendous impact in restoring life of victims. Mrs Kagame did not drop her campaign.

The Ministry of Gender says nine more centres have been established in different parts of the country.

“The results are paying off,” said Gender Minister Oda Gasinzigwa.

Rwanda National Police figures indicate that 3,127 cases of defilement were registered between 2012 and 2013 country-wide, with at least 325 cases of rape recorded in the same period.

The number reduced compared to previous years, Police say.

In 2012, Rwanda scooped United Nations Public Award for promoting ‘Gender Responsive Delivery’ of Public Services- the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.

Yesterday, Rwandans took to streets to denounce GBV and human trafficking, as part of an International campaign dubbed: 16 Days of activism against Gender Based Violence.

Olive Byukusenge, a victim of defilement, was among them. In 2010, she was defiled by her elderly cousin at the age of 15.

“I wanted to kill myself two times,” Byukusenge told KTpress. She has a 4-year-old son. “I thank Isange One Stop Centre for restoring my life,” she added.

“We have sustainable security in our entire nation. We are bound to do anything against GBV and sexual violence,” Minister Gasinzigwa said.

UN has launched a campaign dubbed: “UNiTE to End Violence against Women”. In a message, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said: “Take the campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, and organize “Orange Events” in your own neighbourhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014.”

 

 

By: Dan Ngabonziza