UN Defines “Gender-based violence (GBV) as the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with each gender, along with the unequal power relationships between the two genders, within the context of a specific society.”
While women, girls, men and boys can be victims of GBV, the main focus of Gender Based Violence based on Experiences is violence against women and girls.
This is not to say that gender-based violence against men does not exist.
For instance, men can become targets of physical or verbal attacks for misbehaving predominant concepts of masculinity, for example because they have sex with men. Men can also become victims of violence in the family – by partners or children.
However, it has been widely acknowledged that the majority of persons affected by gender-based violence are women and girls, as a result of unequal distribution of power in society between women and men. Further, women and girls victims of violence suffer specific consequences as a result of gender discrimination including majorly un wanted pregnancy.
“The primary targets of GBV are women and adolescent girls, but not only are they at high risk of GBV, they also suffer exacerbated consequences as compared with what men endure. As a result of gender discrimination and their lower socio-economic status, women have fewer options and less resources at their disposal to avoid or escape abusive situations and to seek justice. They also suffer (…) consequences [on their sexual and reproductive health], including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and resulting deaths, traumatic fistula, and higher risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV ”.
WHAT IS THE POSITION OF RWANDA ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE?
Based on the UN's definition of Gender-Based Violence, the Rwandan National Policy on Gender Based-Violence illustrates the categories of GBV as economic violence, physical violence, sexual violence, and psychological violence. Therefore, gender-based violence should be seen as physical, sexual, emotional or social harm or abuse directed against a person because of his or her gender role in a given society. The policy helps counteract GBV through legislation and awareness.
Since the year 2011 Rwanda have made a remarkable progress in GBV prevention and response, however there are remaining challenges that need to be addressed, and these includes but not limited to;
- Limited knowledge of Laws, especially the Law on the Prevention and Punishment of Gender-based Violence in Rwanda.
- Persistence of some negative cultural beliefs.
- Economic/livelihood dependence on the perpetrator by the victim.
- Insufficiency of human, material and financial resources to address GBV cases.
- Poor response in emergency cases due to long distances between the crime site and service delivery centers as well as lack of communication amongst service providers and grassroots level volunteers (community health workers, members of Anti-GBV Clubs, etc.)
Considering the Conclusion of Rwanda National Policy on Gender Based Violence, which calls for Multi-sectorial approaches towards the prevention of and response to all forms of gender-based violence, COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE has strongly included GBV Program in its activities after realizing that there is still a need of efforts to respond to all of the above mentioned issues that comes along with GBV which can not only be achieved by the Government but rather requires a joint effort.
COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE’S APPROACHES ON GBV:
To ensure we have the biggest impact on GBV in Rwanda, we look at all the angles when it comes to tackling inequality. We implement a broad range of projects that help every individual to become independent and confident – able to stand up for their rights (many of our projects focuses to women and girls), and influence change.
We know that collaboration is vital in bringing about long-term change. So we work with experienced partners to support women and girls living in some of rural parts of the country and who have been the victims of GBV for a long.
WHY IS GENDER BASED VIOLENCE OUR CONCERN
Gender-based violence is both a cause and a consequence of Ignorance and gender inequality.
At the household and community levels, threats, harassment or actual violence in and around schools limits women’s and girls’ mobility and consequently their livelihood opportunities and ability to access education, health and to participate in political processes. Gender-based violence also has enormous economic cost in terms of health services, police and legal services, decreased productivity, family income and food security.
COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE STRATEGY FOR ENDING GBV
Ending Ignorance and Gender Inequality requires addressing the power of inequalities between women and men, girls and boys that underpin gender-based violence.
COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE is there for committed to raise community awareness on the importance of power sharing between Men and Women and between Boys and Girls in their challenges to enjoy happy and healthy lives and to change the contexts,
in which they live, learn, work and raise families.
This includes the organization’s dedication to working with women and men in all settings to confront gender-based violence, which affects at least one in three women worldwide.