Mukantwari, the president of the group which ARAMA gave a financial support
Starting from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, up to 10 December 2013, the Human Rights Day, over 4,100 organizations in 172 countries around the world will celebrate 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Association of Research and Mission for Africa – ARAMA – as an non State Organization based in Rwanda will participate to increase awareness against violence against women through various implemented activities in the project titled ’Developing the capacity of Non State torture rehabilitation and prevention services in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, through regional peer supervision and constructive Non-State - State engagement on the subject of torture’ financed by IRCT.
This year’s 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign will continue the last year’s theme of “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World : Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women !”
As a global initiative, this 16 Days Campaign will focus on three priority areas while underlining the intersections of economic and social rights with militarism and gender-based violence :
1. Violence Perpetrated by State Actors : State actors use the threat or act of violence to maintain or attain power.
They claim a need to protect state security by unleashing violence on those deemed a threat ; and they sexually and physically assault Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs), protestors, and dissenters fighting for political, economic, social, and sexual rights. Police, judges, and prosecutors harass women victimized by gender-based violence into silence. In some places, women are punished for the sexual violence committed against them. The prevalence of State impunity for crimes against its peoples, those of other countries, and stateless peoples is a grave challenge to ending gender-based violence and militarism and achieving the realization of women’s human rights.
States are tasked with due diligence - to respect, protect, and promote the human rights of all people. Still, women and girls throughout the world continue to be denied access to economic and social rights (the right to work, education, food, and water for example), while WHRDs who advocate for these human rights are harassed, assaulted, or killed by state sanctioned authorities. Seen as transgressors of sexual and gender norms and the traditional “private” space assigned to them in their communities and countries, WHRDs remain targets of State violence and imprisonment.
2. In Egypt, during recent protests WHRDs endured harassment as well as sexual and physical assault at the hands of men protestors, soldiers, and police, and were forced to have virginity tests while imprisoned. In Honduras, transgender WHRDs face economic, political, and social discrimination, and extrajudicial killings perpetrated or condoned by State authorities.
3. In Iran, WHRDs are routinely targeted by the State, who often claims these women are a threat to the moral order of society or are working with subversive elements against the integrity of the State.
From 2009 to 2011, ARAMA approached 630 victims of Gender Based Violence in its various forms only in Ngoma - one of seven districts of Eastern Province of Rwanda.
As an organization committed to act as a catalyst for a positive and sustainable change by helping low and medium income people to improve their livelihoods, ARAMA has been working tirelessly for the rights and welfare of women in Rwanda. ARAMA has been providing prevention and response interventions to eliminate gender based violence for more than five years. Apart from prevention, ARAMA focuses strongly on providing medical referral, legal representation in courts, psychosocial and livelihoods support to victims of gender based violence as a rehabilitation package.
ARAMA implemented activities geared to enabling “Female victims of gender based violence and survivors of Genocide against Tutsis who have undergone serial rapes by armed groups and militaries, and are in such a state of serious trauma that it isolates them from their communities ; in addition, these women often find themselves ostracized from their homes and villages because rape is perceived to be a dishonour on a family.
Different activities have been carried out : awareness campaign, training of committees to fight against gender based violence, legal counseling to victims, psychological counseling, livelihoods support…
ARAMA implemented activities geared to enabling victims of gender based violence and survivors of Genocide against Tutsis and their families to access more effective rehabilitation services.
ARAMA has integrated the systemic and community based approaches in fighting GBV and providing services to survivors. In this regard, a new initiative called “Umuryango mwiza” clubs which bring together people from one village to discuss different issues pertaining to the promotion of good and healthy family for all.
Within this approach ARAMA has provided group counselling services in 8 Administrative Sectors. A total number of 144 clients including 9 men and 135 women are receiving group therapy.
To this end, ARAMA seeks to equip them with Sociotherapy, identified as one of the appropriate tools that can help in the positive transformation of communities and families.
Developing the capacity of associate partners to provide legal support to torture victims through financial support when representing victims of gender based violence and survivors of Genocide against Tutsis and by networking with local and regional legal officials.
ARAMA has also provided supporting skills development and income generatingsupport to victims of gender based violence and survivors of Genocide against Tutsis and their families.