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300 street sweeping women sensitized to FP and fight against GBV


"I used to share with my husband that I want us to have several children and quickly. But I decided since today to change my mind in order to preserve my life, "said Claudine Irakoze, 24, a mother of a child. She spoke after attending a sensitization session on family planning and the fight against gender-based violence organized by the United Nations Population Fund on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 in Bujumbura.


This sensitization session, which brought together 300 street sweeper women from Bujumbura, ensuring the hygiene and sanitation of the town, was organized in partnership with the Bujumbura City Council, their employer. "You have the right to a better reproductive health and you have the right to be protected, encouraged and supported so that you have children by choice, not by chance or even worse by obligation," said Richmond Tiemoko, the UNFPA Resident Representative in Burundi. He also said that these women contribute a lot to the development of the country, however, it requires that they stay healthy. Hence the importance of being informed about the benefit of family planning for better reproductive health and a better future for the whole nation. These women expressed their joy and the information they received prompted some of them to take other decisions for their lives on the spot: "I understood that to give several births it’s like to commit suicide and to put in danger my life and my family when there are contraceptive methods that are available and free to all ", said Claudine Irakoze. As for Emma Ntahomvukiye, 23, she said that with poverty, she cannot afford to give birth to many children and hope that she and her family will survive: "I have 3 children, and my husband does not work. I am the only one to support the family with my very low salary. I'm glad I had now all the information I needed before it was too late. After this session, I will ask my husband to stay on 3 children because even now it is almost impossible to provide for the family, "said Emma Ntahomvukiye.

This session was also an opportunity to sensitize the 300 women to the fight against gender-based violence and to share with them the references of the services. After several exchanges, they are committed to staying alert because gender-based violence can happen at any time, in any place, to anyone, and in situations where we don’t expect it to happen. less. By denouncing it, they understood that they will manage to discourage this crime.

It should be noted that in August 2017, UNFPA Burundi offered to these women work coats with awareness raising messages on family planning and the fight against gender-based violence, as well as nose covers to protect themselves.

By Queen BM Nyeniteka