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SEMINAR ON PREVENTION AND FIGHT AGAINST VIOLENCE COMMITTED AGAINST SINGLE MOTHERS IN RWANDA

On December 18, 2021, Butansinda Parish supported by the Anglican Church of Rwanda- Shyogwe Diocese, organised a seminar at its headquarters, Mukingo Sector, Nyanza District, on “Prevention and fight against violence committed against single mothers in Rwanda”.

The key objectives of the seminar was to engage the local church to raise awareness on ending violence against single mums in Rwanda, and to generate recommendations for their better treatment within the church and local communities. Moreover, the seminar meant to equip single mothers so that they can take proper care of themselves.

A single mother is any woman who gave birth outside of wedlock, and who is not living with the father’s child. In other words, we can say that single mothers are those girls who became mothers unexpectedly, without a plan or a desire to have kids at that point of their lives. Single mothers become mothers in their teen years, while they are exercising experimental sex. In many cases, their partners are children themselves which might explain their lack of involvement in the child’s life. However, there are other cases where girls and women are raped or involved in transactional sex for survival. Single mothers often experience verbal abuse, intimidations, corporal punishments, sexual harassment, stigmatization in the community, abandonment by their partners, lack of self-worth, and a tense relationship with their parents. Most of them drop out of schools and they rarely return.

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The seminar covered both church and domestic aspects of violence against single mothers. The speakers of the seminar stressed the importance of undertaking initiatives to prevent violence against single mothers in church, families and local communities. They also exhorted the participants to return to the Church so that they could be accompanied sufficiently. Participants shared their questions and opinions with the parish leaders during the seminar, and they concluded with a positive note that the church, the Government, and the entire community should work together to end the violence committed against single mothers. The participants also wanted the church to support those who have dropped out of school so that they can return. At the end of the seminar, the participants elected a committee of five people who will work closely with the parish to ensure their regular contact. Below are some photos of participants: