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Kigali Safer for Women and Girls

In many cities women and girls face violence not only in their homes and in relationships, but also in public spaces due to poor urban design and poor management of public spaces. Whether it is due to threats, intimidation, harassment, sexual attacks or rape, all aggression seriously inhibits women from moving around the city because they feel unsafe. Women and girls are often targets of violence due to their vulnerability, and this vulnerability, perpetuates their position in society.

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One of the ways in which women can feel safer and fully benefit from the services and resources cities can offer is actively seek changes in their physical environment by working together with local authorities and other community institutions and groups.

According to my research findings, male youth who are mostly addicted to the use of drugs contribute bigger percentage to women and girls sexual violence in most urban centres.

These evil habits are cultivated and grow from boredomness resulting to high level of poverty and lack of employment opportunities. The Government of Rwanda has tried to put in place policies that occupy the youth through education for all where every young adult of school going age is occupied by attending schools(free universal education), but there are still many including men and boys who do not benefit from these opportunities and end up in adapting evil practices like vandalism, sexual violence against women due to excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs.If and when such alcohol and drug addictives are identified, they should be taken to a youth rehabilitation centre in order to be transformed.

Youth rehabilitation and vocational centres should be initiated in Kigali, supported and embraced by the individual government state organs as it may require enforcement. This centres will rehabilitate the disaffected and delinquent male youth in a residential setting, provide them with vocational employment skills and human rights lessons, and on graduation support them in reintegrating them into the community as productive citizens.

Such centres could also include spaces formally used by drug addicts and alcoholics, where instead boys, and girls and adolescents can come to occupy and use them for games and socializing, they can also be centres where women and girls can acquire skills on human rights and legal framework in place, sexual harassment, violence agaist women and girls in public space and economic empowerment lessons such as entreprenuership, finacial literacy, marketing skills etc..whereby men and boys can be engaged so that their behavior is transformed.These economic empowerments as desribed will help enhance drastically the rate of sexual violence against women and must be integrated with attitude, and complete behaviour transformation.

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