Kigali, 11 July 2013
President Kagame has said that in Rwanda, ending violence against women and girls is a moral duty, a legal obligation and a definition of who Rwandans are as a nation. President Kagame stated this today before officially launching the Africa Unite Command Post Exercise at the Rwanda National Police Headquarters. The Africa Unite excise brings together 172 participants from three different security organs originating from 33 African nations to learn best practices in ending violence against women and girls.
“Every sector has its role to play and efforts need to be intensified to eradicate violence against women and girls. I am happy to see that Africa’s security organs are at frontline of the battle against gender based violence because it is unacceptable that one in every three women around world has been beaten, sexually assaulted or abused. The ramifications of this kind of violence go beyond the individual concerned and therefore, issues of handling violence against women and girls should be an integral part of training of security and law enforcement.”
President Kagame urged Africans to reject the notion that violence against women and girls is and African problem and recommended that African nations should ensure that security forces do not perpetuate the culture of silence around violence against women and girls:
“More can and should be done to ensure the safety of women, and Rwanda remains committed to this cause”
Clotilde Mbaranga Gasarabwe, Assistant UN Secretary General for Safety and Security, delivered a message from the UN Secretary General to President Kagame, and stated that the United Nations appreciates the great strides made in fighting gender based violence and advancing gender equality in Rwanda. The Command Post Exercise Director, John Bosco Kabera said the training is based on the ‘One stop center’ concept where victims receive physical and psychological support.
In response to the call for action by the UN Secretary General in the campaign UNiTE to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) launched in 2008, Rwanda security organs organized in 2010 a high level conference on the role of security organs in ending VAWG. The conference culminated into the proclamation and signing of a 14-point Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) as well as the establishment of a secretariat to coordinate and monitor of its implementation.