ENGAGING FATHERS AND COUPLES TO BREAK CYCLES OF VIOLENCE IN RWANDA
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Bandebereho (‘role model’ in Kinyarwanda) is a fatherhood and couples’ intervention in Rwanda designed to transform gender norms around masculinity and fatherhood and to increase male engagement in reproductive health, equal caregiving, and violence prevention. Critical reflection and dialogue introduce positive role modelling for fathers and male partners and promote new attitudes, behaviours, and skills at the individual and relationship levels.
The programme included a 15-session participatory training curriculum for new and expectant fathers, with female partners participating in eight of the sessions. Trained community volunteers (fathers) facilitated the sessions, while local health providers and police officers participated in select sessions. The programme also trained health providers and sponsored community-level activities or campaigns.
A randomised controlled trial evaluation found that Bandebereho substantially reduced rates of both intimate partner violence and harsh punishment against children, among other positive outcomes.
Bandebereho was implemented in Rwanda by the Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre together with Promundo as part of MenCare+, a four-country initiative led by Rutgers and Promundo. The Bandebereho curriculum was adapted from Program P. If you want to adapt the programme, we strongly recommend that you contact them first.
- Engaging men, especially as part of a couple, can transform gender-inequitable norms and lead to positive behavioural outcomes.
- Emphasising the role of fathers can be an entry point to increasing men’s participation in caregiving and household responsibilities.
- Skill-building and critical reflection are key components of successful programmes.
- Creating a supportive group environment that encourages dialogue is critical to achieving change.
“I THOUGHT ALL CHORES WERE ASSIGNED TO WOMEN. I TENDED TO DO WASHING ONLY IF MY WIFE WAS SICK. NOW, WE SHARE ALL THE HOUSEHOLD TASKS. WE STARTED WITH THINGS THAT ARE EASIER AND LESS STIGMATISED IN THE SOCIETY.”
FATHER, FOCUS GROUP, MUSANZE