It was held this Friday, September 14, 2018 in the premises of Umubano Marasa Hotel located in Gasabo District, Kigali City, a consultative meeting with media houses under the initiative of RWAMREC. It is within the framework of the Prevention+ project that this NGO set this partnership approach between RWAMREC and media houses, including training for journalists about analyzing and reporting on Gender and GBV scheduled in October.
About 30 chief editors or their delegates attended the meeting which proved to be participatory according to the thirst shown by these media professionals in benefiting from training themselves and have access to accurate information. Thus, they themselves have demonstrated that they are ready to play their role of informing, sensitizing and educating targeted communities and contribute to the overall goal of Prevention+ project which is GBV prevention and Gender Justice.
The agenda of this consultation meeting included RWAMREC & Prevention+ overview, National Commitments on Gender and the need for partnership with media, the discussion on upcoming training of Media by RWAMREC (needs and expectations) and recommendations. It was almost new for most of participants to know the particularity of RWAMREC which consists of the involvement of boys and men in the promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and GBV prevention.
This 5-yeaurs project (2016 – 2010) is funded by the Dutch Ministry f Foreign Affairs, through Consortium partners (Promundo, Rutgers, Sonke). It is implemented in 4 countries (Rwanda, Uganda, Pakistan, Indonesia) and some countries in the Middle East and Northern African Region. In Rwanda it is implemented in Karongi District.
The Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC) is a non-Governmental Organization, founded in 2006, to act on national challenges related to Gender-based violence (GBV) and gender inequalities. RWAMREC’s mission is to mobilize men to support women’s empowerment, contribute to eradicating GBV and promote positive forms of masculinities.
Since 2016, RWAMREC has partnered with Promundo-US to implement the Prevention+ project, a five-year GBV prevention project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and implemented in Rwanda, Uganda, Pakistan, Indonesia and part of middle east and North Africa region. The long term objective of Prevention+ is to contribute to creating a gender-just society, free of GBV, by transforming the harmful social norms that drive GBV at the individual and community levels and creating an enabled environment at the institutional and government levels.
RWAMREC’s area of expertise, the MenEngage approach to GBV prevention, is believed to be a methodology used to actively examine, question and change rigid gender norms and imbalances power, as means of achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment and prevention of violence against women and girls. Programs that may transform gender relations include encouraging critical awareness of gender roles and norms; questioning the costs of harmful inequitable gender norms, making explicit the advantages of changing norms, empowering women and girls to demand their rights, engaging boys and men in sexual and reproductive health rights, in care giving as well as in respecting and promoting equal rights for all and GBV prevention, etc.
RWAMREC recognizes that media has the power to shape people’s attitudes. Media also has the responsibility to take the lead in raising awareness and breaking the silence around discrimination; hence contributing to being a solution. In addition, in line with the Human Rights-based Approach that affirms that the State is a duty bearer and is expected to respect, protect, fulfill the rights of all people, media has the responsibility to contribute to promoting accountability of duty bearers to face up to their commitments to the people.
As such, media should have the knowledge and capacity to accurately analyze and report on the issues; as well as spur conversations on gender inequalities and violence against women and girls; and particularly on the role of men in ending GBV and promoting women’s rights.
Through Prevention+ hence, RWAMREC has taken on the assignment to build collaboration with selected media institutions as well as contribute to building the capacity of media to more analytically and openly report on gender-related issues; with specific emphasis placed on discussing the role that men should play in promoting women’s empowerment and GBV prevention; through training on Gender, positive Masculinity and GBV prevention; and a more general discussion on effective reporting on Gender-related issues.
It is with this in mind that RWAMREC has called for a meeting with Chief Editors of Media institutions to brainstorm on expectations and needs for the training, scheduled to take place in early October, so as to build a thorough and informative session for journalists, for purposes of contributing to building their capacity to raise community-awareness around gender and GBV issues.
Source: RWAMREC’s project concept paper.