A randomized controlled trial (RCT) whose results were published on August 29,2018 at Marasa Hotel in Kigali revealed that almost two years after participating in the Bandebereho fathers and couples program in Rwanda, men are nearly half as likely to use violence against their female partners, and spend almost one hour more per day household chores.
This evaluation released in PLOS ONE journal is led by PROMUNDO, together with the Rwanda Ministry of Health, Rwanda Biomedical Center and the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC).
According to Rutayisire Fidele, founder and Chairman of RWAMREC, “if we want a real gender balance, we must act as responsible men, and if we want to improve the health of women and children to a satisfactory level, men must play an important role”.
According to DR Turate Innocent, representative of the Ministry of Health at the session of publication of the results , “Rwanda has already taken a remarkable step in various sectors of health among others in the birth control, the reduction infant mortality and that of mothers at the time of delivery “.
He added that this research proves that man is capable of abandoning violence against women through education, and that he ca, lead other men to change mentalities.The results of research include lower rates of physical and sexual violence: rates of violence experienced by women in the Bandebereho program by their husband or partner were nearly half of the in the comparison group.
On the other hand, there has been a greater modern contraceptive use: 70% of women in the Bandebereho program vs. 61% in the comparison group report currently using modern contraception. It has been noted lower rates of violence against children by both men and women in the Bandebereho program than in the comparison group among those couples who are already have children.
There has also been observed a greater sharing of child care and domestic tasks between partners and men spending more time doing unpaid care work.The RCT revealed that women have been involved in decision-making in the household.
This includes around the decision to have children and the spacing of children as well as financial decision-making: 56% of women in the Bandebereho program say the man has the final say about the use of weekly/monthly income and expenses vs. 79% who say so n the comparison group.
Rwanda Men’s Resource centre (RWAMREC) is a Rwanda national leading organization in addressing gender related issues using the Men Engage approach.
Jean Louis KAGAHE
The Partner Magazine