Cross-border exchange on gender in the peace building and conflict prevention process in the Great Lakes region between the DRC and Rwanda in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

The young people raised common obstacles to the promotion of gender, including backward cultures and traditions; insecurity; difficult access to information for women; the low economic power of women, etc.

Project Team
Project Team
Published: Oct. 28, 2021

Gender is a very important issue in any peace building process, for conflict prevention and the promotion of dialogue between communities, especially those that cross borders. The project plans several activities of this kind to not only bring these communities closer together, but also for the search for common solutions by youth, community leaders, religious leaders and decision makers at the local level.

Before starting the exchanges, two gender experts, one from Rwanda and the other from the DRC, presented the basic notions of gender and its impact on the conflicts in the Great Lakes region through two presentations in order to provide material to guide the exchanges.

Thus, in the presence of local authorities, young people from Goma in the DRC and Gisenyi in Rwanda spent a day, on October 27, 2021, discussing gender-based violence in their communities without taboos and in a non-violent manner. A total of 39 people took part in the exchanges, including 15 representatives of youth initiatives from the DRC,15 from Rwanda, and nine local authorities from Goma and Gisenyi.

The idea was first to discuss the factors that continue to sustain gender-based violence, the consequences or impacts of the latter on peace and development, and finally to take resolutions or renew commitments to end gender-based violence in both countries. The young people raised common obstacles to the promotion of gender, including backward cultures and traditions; insecurity; difficult access to information for women; the low economic power of women, etc.

Afterwards, it was also necessary to identify the opportunities to be seized in this process, notably women's awareness of the role they can play in building peace and the existence of legal texts on national, regional and international level, which promote women's rights and gender equality. These opportunities should be seized to advance the fight against gender-based violence.

To brighten up the day and present their culture to the youth from Goma, the youth of the Rwandan partner organization Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle welcomed their visitors with a traditional dance session and a live music session in the middle of the day. These moments were very much appreciated by the youth who even started dancing together.

The organization of the exchange session was organized under the responsibility of our two partners, Pole Institutefrom the DRC and Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle from Rwanda.

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