Fighting sexual and gender based violence in the Great Lakes Region


“With the involvement of MSM the sky is the limit.” Mr. Nathan Byamukama, Director of the Regional Training Facility on Prevention and Suppression of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR-RTF), compliments MSM as consortium leader of the NICHE project ‘Institutional strengthening of RTF to deliver training programs in the prevention and mitigation of sexual and gender based violence’.

On 16 August 2018 the ICGLR-RTF reconnected with its partners through a high-level meeting, supported by MSM, that took place in Kampala, Uganda. Existing and future potential partner organizations met to celebrate existing partnerships and progress, and to discuss possible areas of collaboration in effectively addressing the prevalence of sexual and gender based violence in the Great Lakes Region.

Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) includes rape, defilement, human trafficking, and female genital mutilation. SGBV affects women and girls as well as men and boys, and poses a serious threat to security and sustainable economic development in the Great Lakes Region. It has a destructive impact on the lives, health, physical, sexual, psychological, social and economic well-being of victims and the community. ICGLR-RTF is the regional center of excellence that trains professionals who deal with cases of sexual and gender based violence in the Great Lakes Region. Member States of the Great Lakes Region are Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.

The NICHE-GLR-258 project, led by MSM and involving Rutgers and Living Peace Institute, has made it possible for ICGLR-RTF to set foot on the ground in the fight against sexual and gender based violence. The project has provided a new office for the institution and has – in collaboration with World Bank – trained 12 Master Trainers who in their turn will train at least 120 National Trainers (in-country). These National Trainers will train more than 1000 judicial officers, police officers, medical staff and psychosocial workers on effective prevention and response to cases of SGBV. Dr. Astrid ter Wiel, Associate Consultant at MSM is the project manager of this NICHE project.

During the high-level meeting attendants were invited to take part in one of the exercises about gender awareness resulting in lively discussions based on statements such as ‘Women make better parents than men’ and ‘A man cannot rape his wife’. Perceptions of people, and the reluctance to challenge these, are easy triggers of sexual and gender based violence (such as intimate partner violence).

Watch here the video report of the high-level meeting made by Jaliat Namuwaya.

The ICGLR-RTF is very satisfied with MSM’s involvement to help the organization to become the center of excellence that trains professionals who deal with cases of SGBV in the region.

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