After six years of a successful fight against Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse, Rwanda has unveiled the story behind the effectiveness of Isange One Stop Centre in a book titled: “Rwanda’s Holistic Approach to Fighting Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse: The Isange One Stop Centre Model.”
The book, which documents Rwanda’s journey in the struggle and experiences against sex and gender based violence, was launched by the Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi on the side-line of the África Convention of Women in Security Organs’, which started yesterday in Kigali.
The Premier said that the book is a “good example of how Rwanda values the importance of women, protects them, and cares for victims of Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse”
The book narrates a story that chronicles Rwanda’s efforts over the past two decades to sustainably respond to the scourge of gender based violence and child abuse, with the aim of ultimately uprooting it form our society.
Isange Book Review
While giving a review of the book, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Nadine Umutoni Gatsinzi observed that violence against women was used as a tool used during the 1994 Tutsi Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
She said the genocidal government sanctioned abuse, before and during genocide, the culture of impunity was spread across Rwandan society.
“It was okay – and at times rewarded – to kill and rape,” Umutoni said.
“It is known that rape was used as a weapon in committing genocide…an estimated 500, 000 women and girls were subjected to the most brutal methods of murder with their sexual organs penetrated by sharp objects, knives, sticks and guns.”
The post-genocide leadership, she noted, elevated the problem into a matter of security in order to give it the requisite attention and to signal to actors in the area of security the seriousness with which the government attached to it.
“The government mobilised human, material, and institutional resources to provide security to women and girls. The book gives a detailed account of the corporation from all government and non-state actors.”
“It envisioned and implemented a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach that brought together key actors in the provision of a holistic cocktail of interventions that addressed the most essential needs faced by victims of gender based violence and child abuse: law enforcement services, medical and psychosocial care, and the assurance that that victims get the justice they are due and that the perpetrators are punished.”
All this, she said, necessitated an effective approach, thus the ideal of Isange One Stop Centre which was backed by the political commitment, unwavering support of partners including the One-UN Rwanda and the Royal Netherlands Government.
The Imbuto Foundation played an essential role. It’s Founder and Chairperson, Her Excellency Jeannette Kagame, became the patron of the Isange One Stop Centre.
“Motivated by her conviction that strong societies are built on the health of their women and children that informs the work of the Imbuto foundation, she provided the moral leadership that was essential in galvanising efforts for establishing the centre and for mobilising resources.”
In 2012 the Centre was awarded the United Nations Public Service Award for its service excellence in responding to GBV and child abuse.
About 28 other centres have so far been established in district hospitals across the country.