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Gender-based violence cases remain high in Burundi society, rights group says

By Julien Barinzigo / Published on Friday, 06 Jan 2017 04:44 AM / / 445 views

Burundi- Gender right Group leader says that that among 1,244 persons who entrusted to the center’s officers in the last two years, 1450 got mediation, 168 were judicially assisted, 754 medically treated and 278 psychologically assisted in Kinama and Gihosha zones of the mayor ship of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.
In 2013, 6,000 cases were recorded, in only six provinces out of seventeen
Concluding that Gender-based violence (GBV) is reality in Burundi and affects any person irrespective of their age, economic status, sex and education level, the GIRITEKA center Representative, Jeanne Gacoreke, the center leader says that works to sensitize people to abandon home violence will continue until, it is over.
“Burundian culture is a major obstacle to overcome the issue. However, mindset is changing” said in a interview today in Bujumbura in the margin of the workshop.
Thus, for these last two years more than 2,266 persons have entrusted themselves to Giriteka Center in order to denounce the gender-based violence.

Claudine Ahishakiye, Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender official said the Government of Burundi has already made significant advances in the fight against gender-based violence and the promotion of women’s rights.
“Despite all these advances, new and numerous challenges persist in the promotion of gender equality,” she added.

According to this officer, the work of protection, defense and promotion of the rights of women is not easy and requires a lot of commitment, lots of courage and a constant commitment. This why she called upon anyone to act quickly and help any time the government so that by 2025 women should be fully represented in all the country decision making levels and a total ban of that kind of violence.

According to the national strategy against gender-based violence women and girls are more concerned with such abuses. Thus, 97% of women and girls against 3% of boys and men are victims of violence. The majority of the victims are minors. Quarter of the victims has 15 years, while one third has less than 12 years.
SERUKA Center talks about 1,500 cases of sexual violence per year in Burundi and defines violence against women as “All acts of violence directed against the female sex, and causing or likely to cause women physical, sexual or psychological suffering, including the threat thereof”.

The Impunity Watch (IW) report on gender-based violence in Burundi identifies a number of primary obstacles. This include the lack of information and awareness across the board, victim’s fear of reprisal since there is no a legal framework and the socio cultural protection. Furthermore, the report presents the victims ‘perceptions towards Burundi justice institutions, as well as their perceptions of key actors in the justice chain.
‘’These barriers reinforce the mistrust among victims of the justice system, which is moreover driven by the feeling that impunity for perpetrators is increasing’’ added IW report published in 2013.

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