KIGALI, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda on Friday joined the rest of the world launching the 16 days of activism campaign, which is aimed at galvanizing action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
The international campaign will last from Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to Dec. 10, Human Rights Day. It is originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.
The Rwanda gender activism campaign that was launched at Petit Stade in the capital city Kigali will run under the theme "End Violence against Women and Girls: Speak Out!"
The activities which marked the event started at 3 p.m. with a walk from Kigali Convention Center to Petit Stade. It brought together students, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, development partners, government and the United Nations' officials, police, military, women rights activists, among others.
During the campaign, the country will use various platforms to encourage everyone to become an ally in the elimination of GBV by listening to others, speaking up against gender-based violence and taking action which can make communities safer for everyone including women and girls, said Rwandan gender minister Esperance Nyirasafari at the event.
"Children and young people need to know and understand their rights and responsibilities in ending violence against women and girls," said the President of the Senate of Rwanda Bernard Makuza.
"Let's unite and fight against gender based violence (GBV) and as well violence against women and girls."
Makuza noted that one of Rwanda's approaches to ending gender based violence is the rollout of 44 Isange One Stop centers that offer counseling services for GBV victims in all district hospitals across the country.
It is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives, according to UN Women. However, some national studies show that up to 70 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, it said.