It is no longer an issue facilitated by ignorance and poverty. Gender based violence has become rampant among the rich and elite families.
“Anger is a big problem and I don’t want to comment on it. It is surprising that gender based violence is common among rich families just as in poor families and even more among the elite,” Minister of Local government, Francis Kaboneka told Senate on Wednesday.
Rwanda Senate has tasked government ‘to go beyond rhetoric’ and take practical measures to address domestic violence which has become rampant in the last five years.
A report presented by the senate Human Right commission indicates that conflicts in many instances that lead to death of family members increased drastically.
For example 400 cases of gender based violence were reported in 2010 and despite a drop in 2011, the number increased to 450 cases in 2014.
Incidences of violence doubled to 1000 in 2015. Of these cases 930 led to death, while in other 38 cases, family members narrowly survived death.
The report found that 27.3% cases of murder among married couples were caused by anger, while alcoholism accounted for 15.1% of death cases, and drugs 5.1%.
Minister Kaboneka also said, that land conflicts are widespread.
Kaboneka and Esperance Nyirasafari the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion were summoned to the Senate to explain reasons for increasing conflicts in the community and measures being taken to address them.
Lawmakers took a decision to summon them because their ministries have failed to file a report on the matter since April 2016.
“Focus has been put on curbing gender based violence and reforms in the family laws but currently we are looking at community programs like Indashikirwa and Umugoroba w’ababyeyi programs,” said Minister Nyirasafari.
“The biggest emphasis has been on early childhood development to positively raise a generation of children,” Minister Nyirasafari said.
Minister Kaboneka added that security organs have been vigilant making sure all the people involved in conflicts face justice.
Senators said the Ministers’ responses were general and demanded for detailed and practical means of addressing ‘wars’ in homes.
“These are still assumptions and hypothesis. We need real practical ways and show who will do what and when. We should go beyond mere talks,” Senator Gallican Niyongana, the chairperson of the Senate’s Human Right commission said.
However, both ministers said, the strategies that were taken may not deliver results in very short terms.
Kaboneka suggested that provisions on family based crimes should be tightened to warn people.
He also said, facing conflicts is a national concern and addressing them requires collective efforts of every institution and individual.