Looking to a Weapon-Free Future

dagropass_web112 guns, 11,206 rounds of ammunition, 4,961 grenades and 1,907 mortars destroyed. International human rights documents translated into local languages. Women experiencing less aggression from men, and married women reporting more respect from their husbands once they had begun asserting their rights.

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These are the results of a group of 30 women breaking the silence surrounding the link between small arms and gender-based violence in Bujumbura, Burundi. With the support of Global Fund grantee partner Développement Agropastoral et Sanitaire [Agro-pastoral and Healthy Development] (DAGROPASS) trained these women educators to conduct a multi-stage campaign to address the roots of gender-based violence in their communities.

Due the abundance of small arms, armed conflict prevails in the rural western Burundi. In fact, DAGROPASS estimates that 80 percent of households in Bujumbura have small arms. These are the very weapons that facilitate intense rates of violence against women in Burundi. Women’s groups recognize that women’s rights won’t become a reality until the region addresses arms-related violence. DAGROPASS is leading the way by empowering rural women – often excluded from positions of power – to lead a rights-based movement for the elimination of small arms.


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