The impact of a microfinance and gender-transformative program on preventing intimate partner violence
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 and non violent relationships. The programme shown to be helpful for men and women to learn about the many rights in Rwanda protecting women’s access to property and household resources. Many couples reported improved household development because of better conflict resolution, increasingly making joint decisions and communicating more openly about resources; skills learned and developed through the curriculum.