• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Respect for human rights, especially of a woman, reduces GBV in Burundi


Apr 3, 2024

BUJUMBURA April 2nd (ABP) – Respect for human rights, especially of a woman, contributes more to the sustainable development of the country, according to the president of the association of women lawyers of Burundi, AFJB, Ms. Diane Kanyange, s ‘ expressing Thursday, March 28, 2024, during an interview with ABP.

During that interview, Mrs. Kanyange pointed out that the role of a woman is essential in the development of the country. She is outraged by the fact that Burundian customs and morals discriminate against Burundian women, whether rural women or intellectuals, which blocks their development.

As a female lawyer, she revealed that the Burundian constitution stipulates that all Burundians are equal. They have the same rights and the same dignity. If a person respects another person, that could lead to the reduction of gender-based violence. Because what is forbidden to women is also forbidden to men.

According to her, the only cause of the increase in GBV in the community is that the Burundian population ignores the law and the law. She recalled some fundamental rights of women including the right to live free from violence and discrimination, the right to property, the right to the best standard of physical and mental health as well as the right to education.

Mrs. Kanyange testified that women lawyers have been fighting since 2016 for the promotion and protection of women’s and children’s rights. They have received many cases of violence against women and men. Current VGB statistics, in Bujumbura town hall in 2023, reveal 178 victims including 9 men. For those who were physically and sexually abused, the AFJB sent them to the Seruka center for treatment while others received legal assistance.

                                                                                A victim of GBV

In addition, the president of the AFJB affirmed that the women lawyers of the AFJB do everything to ensure that women are made aware of their rights.

She urged the entire Burundian population to know the laws, who react to them, especially women and to obey justice, in order to fight against GBV in Burundi.

For her part, the coordinator of the collective of women’s associations and NGOs of Burundi CAFOB, Mrs. Anatolie Ndayishimiye declared that gender-based violence is a term designating any damage that is committed against a person and resulting from unequal power relations determined by roles socially assigned to men.

Ms. Ndayishimiye announced the current statistics which were recorded in the year 2023 in the six provinces of the country, located in the CAFOB offices, showing 964 cases of gender-based violence including 72 men and 892 women.

Of the 964 cases, 555 people were victims of economic violence, 169 were victims of psychological violence, another 101 were victims of sexual violence and 99 people were victims of physical violence. CAFOB was able to treat 112 women and provided them with legal assistance in collaboration with the Association of Women Lawyers of Burundi.

On that occasion, Mrs. Ndayishimiye cited some reasons for violence in the Burundian community. Those include jealousy, poverty, lack of communication between married couples, drug and alcohol consumption, traditions and religious fundamentalism.

To that end, the CAFOB coordinator stressed that every woman must be able to defend herself and know her rights, because today men who rape their wives do not imagine the consequences on the entire family without forgetting the children. In addition, women who experience violence often come away with after-effects which may include injuries, incapacity for activities, weight loss, medical care, hospitalization, depression and anxiety, panic attack, loss of self-confidence, sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, consumption of alcohol or toxic products.

To fight against violence against women which constitutes violations of human rights and an obstacle to human development, Ms. Ndayishimiye also explained that it is important to work on actions to raise awareness, repression, denunciation but also prevention and handling cases of violence as part of the strategy to combat violence against women.

According to her, CAFOB is committed to raising awareness among the people on GBV in all provinces of the country, starting in the six provinces housing its offices, namely the provinces of Gitega, Mwaro, Muramvya, Bururi, Muyinga, and Bujumbura town hall. He also did training for couples, and training for young people and the CAFOB hired special psychologists to do family mediation, and pleading and home visits to follow up with victims in their families.

The legal representative of the CAFOB, to that end, affirmed that there is a change because the victims know the importance of the presence of the CAFOB. In addition, she added, the CAFOB will spare no effort to help the women victims who come to the CAFOB with a view to seeing a peaceful and prosperous Burundi which respects human rights and it will pursue the other provinces so that Burundi is a country of Zero GBV.

She appealed to administrators who are behind in the fight against GBV to take charge of the issue of raising awareness of the fight against GBV in their communities, so that everyone can know the consequences of GBV.

Mr. Bucumi Jean Paul, a 42-year-old man who was the victim of economic and physical violence, living in Gatumba, in Bujumbura province, testifies that his wife abandoned him following an accident. “Previously, I was a transport bus driver, today I am disabled following a work accident. After a year of disability, my wife began selling family assets, wasting our children’s savings.

A 27-year-old woman, mother of two children living in Kamenge, Ntahangwa commune, married since 2006, testified that she had been a victim of psychological, physical and domestic violence for a long time. Her husband finally abandoned her and her children. Thanks to CAFOB, she testified that she finally understood her rights and that she should work to feed her children. So, that women’s NGO granted her a small capital to start a small business.