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19 March 2018

'Indashyikirwa: The Impact of a Microfinance and Gender-transformative Program on Preventing Intimate Partner Violence' by Erin Stern

Indashyikirwa, meaning ‘agents for change’, is a program that seeks to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) across Rwanda, and is being implemented by CARE Rwanda, Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN) and Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC). One component of the program was a 5-month weekly curriculum with 840 heterosexual couples recruited from CARE’s micro-finance village savings and loans associations. The participatory curriculum supported couples to examine power in their own lives, identify and manage triggers of IPV, and build skills for healthy, equal relationships. Using the VSLAs as a platform responded to CARE Rwanda’s (2012) assessment of this programming, which found that in many cases, men were controlling the function of the microfinance groups and money, and many women did not feel confident to make decisions about a loan without their husband’s approval. Approximately 25% of couples that completed the Indashyikirwa curriculum were supported to facilitate activism in their communities around the benefits of non-violent relationships for an additional two years. Read the full article here

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