Peaceful families share their experiences in Rwanda

Families living on good terms were asked to give testimonies in couples’ evening programs in order to motivate the reduction of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). 

Participants in the training asserted that the couples’ evenings have a great role to play in SGBV prevention.

This activity – peaceful couples and families sharing their stories – was suggested by Mr. Oswald Samvura, a trainer from Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC), in the two days’ training organized in Gakenke District from the 29th of June. Mr. Oswald said that the differences between men and women – whether biological or socially constructed – should not be a source of misunderstanding or GBV in families. He said that men and women should rather be complementary in any relationship.

Participants sustained that if people were trained on how to handle differences between men and women and on the different GBV laws, through public speaking, community work and couples’ evening programmes, there could be remarkable behavior change.

Participants added that they viewed the couples’ evening programme as a solution to SGBV as it offers room to discuss and share experiences about culture and education that constitute a hindrance to gender equality. They therefore suggested that much more effort needs to be put into developing activities in the couples’ evening programmes.