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Every Voice Counts: Meet the Men who Have Grasped Gender Concept

by KT Press Staff Writer
4:40 pm

Some of exemplary married men (role models) identified in EVC districts

Gone are days when a woman is called a housewife whose fate is to be confined inside her compound.

Men and women in Huye district – Southern Province have come to a greater gender equality understanding, according to which, supporting each other in domestic chores is the way to go for any family to prosper.

The men at closing ceremony of Every Voice Counts (EVC) campaign support that, “Helping each other in doing domestic tasks conveys peace and good living condition in the family which of course, reduces gender based violence cases.”

The awareness campaign started on October 3 and concluded on December 10, to serve as a strategic moment as the world celebrates the International Human Rights Day.

The objective of the campaign was to promote the idea that real men respect women’s rights to public participation, listen and support them.

The three month campaign that was organized by Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe (PFTH) covered five Southern Province Districts namely Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango, Nyanza and Huye.

When the awareness campaign was concluded on December 10, 2019 in Rusatira Sector, Huye district, participants called upon men to respect the views of women and let them partake in the community development.

They were also argued to have confidence in them during election, to allow them make their voices heard.

“Before attending this awareness campaign, I could not allow my wife neither to join women group nor to be elected to any position to serve in whatever capacity,” said Jean Paul Nsabimana, a father of three and one of the beneficiaries.

His attitude, he said, kept his family lagging behind in terms of development until he attended the deminar.

“The awareness campaign changed our attitude completely; we contribute to our family building together, supporting each other in grazing cows, farming, cleaning, cooking, to mention but a few,” Nsabimana further said.

According to Mutesi Leatitie the Head of Finance department at Pro-Femme/Twese Hamwe, this campaign fits in the context of assuring the wellbeing of families by allowing women to give their constructive ideas.

“We have asked men to appreciate the importance of their wives at home and to allow them to take part in several platforms that allow them to take part in decision making for prosperity, and it paid off,” she further said.

Kayigamba Jean Claude, in charge of the campaign at Care International said that when the campaign started, men’s understanding was such that, there was no need for women to have a say in anything that transpired at home.

However, the mindset has changed.

“A husband can also cook, clean, babysit for the wife to also have time to attend platforms that discuss development programs,” Kayigamba said.

“More interestingly, men now understand that helping their wives does not undermine their status as men.”

Kankesha Annonciata the Vice Mayor in Charge of social welfare in Huye district is of a view that listening to woman’s idea is synonym of supporting family development, and by extension, country progress.

“Husbands, may you listen to us,” she requested.

Kankesha said that as far as her district is concerned, they already have a much similar campaign which calls for both genders equal participation.

“In a campaign Huye “ikeye ituje kandi itekanye” (Clean, peaceful and Safe Huye district), we cannot succeed if a women is left behind,” she said.

The “Every Voice Counts” campaign was organized by Pro-Femme/Twese Hamwe in collaboration with Care International under the support of Ministry of Foreign affairs of The Netherlands.

EVC campaign-officials and beneficiaries

Over 800 men from the five districts participated in this awareness campaign. They pledged to put into practice what they have learnt with their wives for the betterment of their homes.

Project owners believe that women and girls’ voice matters in planning and budgeting.

This awareness campaign aims at promoting meaningful and effective citizen engagement and social accountability model. The end result is thus, enhancing women participation and influencing governance processes to address gender based violence at local and national level.

It was is expected that by the end of the campaign, men between 25-39 old in EVC areas would be reached with messages persuading them to support women’s participation in public areas.