Thierry Kajeneza grew up witnessing the mistreatment of women and girls. To him, this mistreatment was not only a violation of their human rights but also a missed opportunity to include women and girls in Burundi’s post-civil war reconstruction.
In 2007, the YALI Network member took action. Kajeneza and his colleague established ICIRORE C’AMAHORO, a Ngozi province–based group that advocates for the rights of women and girls. Below, Kajeneza shares eight ways communities can stop violence against women and achieve gender equality:
- Create laws and enforce existing laws that protect women from discrimination and violence, including rape, beatings, verbal abuse, mutilation, torture, “honor” killings and trafficking.
- Educate community members on their responsibilities under international and national human rights laws.
- Promote the peaceful resolution of disputes by including the perspectives of women and girls.
- Strengthen women’s ability to earn money and support their households by providing skills training for women.
- Sensitize the public to the disadvantages of early and forced child marriages.
- Highlight the value of girls’ education and of women’s participation in economic development.
- Encourage women to participate in the political process and educate the public about the value of women’s votes.
- Raise public awareness of the poor conditions some women face, particularly in rural areas.
To learn more, watch the ‘What is Gender-Based Violence’ video series at: https://yali.state.gov/video-vignettes/.