Measure forbidding girls from going out after 6 pm being extended

The administrator of Nyabiraba commune of Bujumbura Province issued on March 25 a statement forbidding girls from going out after six pm. Defenders of girls’ rights protest this decision saying it’s ‘discriminatory’.

Students playing hooky in Bujumbura

“Girls are not allowed to appear on the streets after 6 pm,” reads the statement issued on March 25 by Ferdinand Simbananiye, Administrator of Nyabiraba Commune.
This decision was taken a week after the administrator of Giteranyi Commune in Muyinga Province in northeastern Burundi took a similar decision. Sources say that these measures aim at fighting pregnancies in school environment.

Alice Nkunzimana, Coordinator in the Association for the Promotion of the Burundian Girl, describes this measure as discriminatory. “It threatens girls’ freedom as it will prevent school girls from studying properly. Girls who will need to revise the courses with their classmates will be constrained by this measure,” says Nkunzimana, adding that girls may be arrested on the streets from shops or in search of firewood.

“We all know that there are girls who help their parents in household activities,” she says adding that “the measure will prevent girls from running business.”

For Nkunzimana, banning girls from going out at night is not enough to protect them. She proposes the organization of sessions to discuss sexuality. “The administration in collaboration with parents should instead make girls aware of the bad consequences of getting pregnant while they are still students,” she says.

This Coordinator in the Association for the Promotion of the Burundian Girl calls on justice to punish even those who impregnate them arguing that “A pregnant student is a victim of violence.”