Pro- Femmes/ Twese Hamwe umbrella is conducting a behavior change campaign aiming at reducing violence against women and gender discrimination by engaging men to involve women in decision making for the betterment of families and society.
The campaign is taking place in Muhanga, Kamonyi, Nyanza, Ruhango and Huye Districts of the Southern province in the implementation of ‘Every Voice Count’(EVC) project themed ‘her participation and power is my pride as a real man’.
The Every Voice Counts (EVC) project promotes inclusive decision-making processes and is based on the principle that inclusive governance can help lead to peaceful households and progress.
Men are urged to hear the voice of their wives in issues that affect them and share household activities meaningfully regardless of some hindrances that include mindset and cultural norms.
While addressing the local community in Nyarubaka Sector, Kamonyi District, the Chairman of Profemme Twese Hamwe, Jeanne d’Arc Kanakuze said the three months campaign targets all people so that they support gender equality;
“I call upon men to support their wives to advance. Help them and share household works. Let them go into cooperatives and attend their forums. Keep up them become leaders and participate in decision making process. Their voice must be heard so as to build a strong society”, she noted.
Most men and take activities like washing dishes, cleaning the house, carrying a baby on the back among others are reserved to women and girls. Kanakuze said this mind-set must change. Men could not do such work in the absence of their partners but just to share and help them to perform other duties they have.
“Unless boys and girls are not educated that they have the same rights we will be failing. We don’t want no one to be left behind in the development we strive to reach all. We have to value gender in our country but basically in our society”, she reiterated.
Mukanoheri Claudine, a resident of Nyagishubi Cell enjoys the way her husband help her in household works.
“There is no problem at home, my spouse tries to help me. We go to the field together; he can go to fetch water when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding. Even in my absence I’m not worry about cooking because he does himself”, she explained.
Nyandwi Valens, a member from a club of men engaged in fighting violence and conflict resolution in Nyarubaka Sector, said the family in conflicts cannot develop because “ children are the first victims; they are not safe and fed; they can’t go to school and the couple can’t put hands together in the benefit of the family.”
The club of 65 men members who were ‘ferocious’ at their homes but now changed behaviour are striving to change behaviour of couples that live in conflicts through counselling and dramas played in the community.
The Director of Good Governance in Kamonyi District, Epimaque Munyakazi, said that inclusive governance is the foundation of development.
He said: “Your wife is your second hand. If you don’t hear her voice and welcome her participation it’s like you cut your second hand as if you don’t want it to work. So put your hands together to develop the society starting by your families.”
Every voice counts project is implemented by Profemme Twese Hamwe in the partnership with Care International.