May 25, 2013 (TSR) – The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday laid a foundation stone for the construction of the continent’s anti-Gender Based Violence secretariat dubbed “Africa’s Centre for Security Organs Coordination of Action to end Violence Against Women and Girls (AFSOCCA-VAWG). The facility will be constructed at the Rwanda National Police headquarters.
He emphasized the center “ will strengthen mechanisms and policies to prioritise prevention and address violence against women and children, especially in conflict.”
The creation of the secretariat is a response to Ki-Moon’s campaign dubbed “Africa UNiTE Campaign to end VAWG” he launched in 2008.
Subsequent to his call, Police Chiefs and representatives from African countries convened in Kigali in October 2010 in an “International Conference on the Role of Security Organs in Ending Violence Against Women and Girls,” to jointly devise means to end the vice on the continent.
The conference ended with a 14-point Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) signed by Police Chiefs or their representatives, in which they affirmed their commitment to rid the continent of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and harmonize and standardize legal frameworks pertaining to violence against women and girls.
The second international conference on the role of security organs in ending VAWG was held in last November in Bujumbura- Burundi, the current chair of KICD, in which African Countries, UN agencies, African union, COMESA among others, participated.
It is against this background that the Government of Rwanda, in order to strengthen measures against VAWG, through the Rwanda Armed Forces championed by the Rwanda National Police, has partnered with the One-UN-Rwanda to launch the construction AFSOCCA-VAWG Secretariat.
Speaking at thebceremony, the Minister of Gender an Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, said, “With our existing good leadership and high political will, the Government of Rwanda is committed and has worked tirelessly to end violence against women and girls, owing it to the fact that we clearly understand the plight of the victims vis-à-vis the violence.”
She also recognized the role of security organs. “The Police and the Army, Gender Desks and anti GBV committees at grassroots level also play a critical role in preventing the crime.”
Despite the fact that the government of Rwanda has remained steadfast in preventing and ending violence, Gasinzigwa highlighted that “it is undeniable that some women and girls still experience violence in its different forms.”
She said women still are subjected to sexual, economic, psychological as well as physical violence. . I wish to express our sincere thanks to all partners such the World Bank for the extraordinary support
She also recognized the role of security organs and other partners. “The Police and the Army, Gender Desks and anti GBV committees at grassroots level also play a critical role in preventing the crime.”
Gasinzigwa lauded the role of the World Bank. The President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who also attended the ceremony, said Rwanda’s commitment towards ending the vice is commendable.
“I thank the efforts of President Paul Kagame, his government and security organs to end this violence,” he said. Yong Kim said the creation of the AFSOCCA-VAWG Secretariat in Rwanda sends a strong message to all players involved in curbing the crime. “I hope Rwanda will keep being exemplary.”