“It is important for us to monitor the rate of gender-based violence in Burundi so that we can understand the best way to address the issue,” stated Innocent (another name) from the African Children and Youth Network for Human Rights / Réseau des Enfants et Jeunes Africains pour les Droits Humains (REJADH) Burundi. The evaluation workshop took place on Friday 28th December 2018 in Bujumbura – Burundi and was attended by religious leaders, civil society leaders, and government officials. The workshop had as its objective to evaluate the state of the commitment of Religious Leaders, political actors and civil society on the monitoring and implementation of gender-based violence law in Burundi. During the deliberations, it was made clear that Burundi has a strong law prohibiting gender-based violence. But this law has not been enforced, the workshop then explored the role of faith leaders and civil society members in enforcing this law.
The youths hoped that organizing the workshop will influence political leaders, civil society and religious leaders to make a commitment in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of gender-based violence law in Burundi and at the same time support strategies that can assist REJADH Burundi in meeting their goals.
The youth used the Myth of Maputo Campaign (This Campaign calls for the ratification and full implementation of the Maputo Protocol, among other strategies to address GBV and it negative impacts on children and youth) to lobby religious leaders, civil society leaders and government officials who were present to support their work to end gender-based violence. This was done through critical analysis of gender-based violence in Burundi, demonstrating the consequences of gender-based violence so as to build their arguments for a united front to address the issue.
One of Arigatou international – End Child Poverty staff who attended the workshop encouraged religious leaders, civil society leaders and government officials who were present to support the work of REJADH Burundi and to add their voices to the Myth of Maputo Campaign. It was also an opportunity for Arigatou international – End Child Poverty to meet with some members of the Side by Side Burundi where the group was encouraged to continue inviting REJADH to their activities.
By supporting the work of REJADH, Arigatou International – End Child Poverty rights and dignity of girls and address gender based violence as a driver of child poverty. This further promotes the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5 and the commitment in the Panama Declaration 2017 – During the GNRC 5th forum in Panama. The group then pledged that come 2019, their reports will be improved and will be timely. The reports will no longer be done by one person but rather the leaders will all look at the reports to make sure that everything is clear and concise.