Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho led a delegation from the Anglican Church of Burundi in a public march of several hundred people last month, in a public demonstration against gender-based violence (GBV). Archbishop Martin was joined on the march by the Bishop of Rumonge, Pedaculi Birakengana and members of both provincial and diocesan staff and many school children.
The march, through the province of Rumonge, followed International Women’s Day and sent a loud message: yes for the rights of women and “no” to discrimination and violence against them.
The Anglican Church of Burundi has been working with Christian Aid since the end of last year on a programme to mobilise people to end violence against women in the community.,” the Province said on its website.
“Violence happens in communities so the fight [against it] should focus on communities first to enable them to be aware of the issue and have a common understanding of why gender-based violence must be eradicated,” the province’s GBV department co-ordinator, the Revd Jeanne Ndimubakunzi, said.
Ten people in each zone of all the communes in Rumonge are being trained to lead the battle in their communities. Their role will be training and mobilising people against GBV, advocating for and helping victims and ensuring the restoration of their rights.
The Governor of Rumonge described the Anglican Church of Burundi as “the pioneer in this fight against gender-based violence.”
Archbishop Martin emphasised the importance of the partnership to ending GBV, saying: “We are aware of the importance of women in our society. We know what the gender issue is like, but the result we want is a society where men and women will say ‘Together we are able’”.