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Rwanda: Law Against Gender-Based Violence

(Feb. 18, 2009) It was reported on February 11, 2009, that Rwanda is finalizing preparations to publish a law against gender-based violence (GBV) within the next two weeks. The law passed both chambers of parliament last year, but its publication, according to Charles Murigande, Cabinet Affairs Minister, was delayed due to a slow review and translation process at the Ministry of Justice. Speaking about the legislation, Aimable Niishaka, a Member of Parliament and of the parliamentary committee on gender, stated that this law penalizes different types of GBV that are not envisaged by current laws, including marital rape.

A report on GBV by the national police for 2005 through 2008 shows large numbers of cases of rape, defilement, corporal punishment, and murder by husbands. According to the report, in the last three years, there were 259 cases of wives murdered by their husbands, over 2,000 cases of rape, and close to 10,000 cases of defilement of children below the age of 18. (Eugene Kwibuka, Gender Violence Law to Be Passed in Two Weeks, THE NEW TIMES, Feb. 11, 2009, available at