Human Right

MPs recommend vigorous enforcement of law on GBV

The commission in charge of social affairs and gender at the National Assembly has presented a report it conducted on the application of the law on the prevention and protection of victims of violence based on gender in six provinces.

MPs recommend the full application of the law on the prevention and protection of victims of gender-based violence

MP Adolphe Banyikwa, chairman of the commission says the law is silent on a woman who is not legally recognized when her husband has several wives. “If the government recognizes one wife, what will become of others”, asks MP Banyikwa.

He has also spoken about cohabitation which is still a reality among Muslims: “Would we say they are not concerned by the law? Some Sheikhs continue blessing men who marry several women? ” he says.
The same view is shared by MP Pascal Bizumuremyi. He wonders why all women married to one man are not equally recognized. “Only the first spouse is legally recognized,” he says.

As for MP Léopold Ndikumana, the law should be fully applied for the future generations and not for the past ones. “Don’t you think the law could create troubles among illegal women and in the community,” he asks.

Members of parliament carried out field visits in Bujumbura, Rumonge, Gitega, Ngozi, Kayanza, Muyinga and Kirundo provinces.

Martin Nivyabandi, Minister for Human Rights, Gender and Social Affairs says the law relating to the prevention and protection of victims and regression to violence based on gender is in place.

“The law comes to reinforce other laws especially the law on people and family which doesn’t allow men to marry more than one wife”, he says adding that all people must abide by that law.

In June 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted a sensitization campaign towards couples living illegally. It appealed to them to go to the civil registry to legalize their marriage and 95% of them did so.