Empowering 500 Rwandan women living with HIV/AIDS

by Human Rights First Rwanda Association
Sensitization Drive
Sensitization Drive

The last quarter of 2017 involved the sensitizing of the local populace in the Southern Province of Rwanda. Several of discriminatory tendencies on women affected or infected by HIV/AIDS. And these include the access of life-prolonging drugs in health centers

Women who have had several tides of challenges especially in the rural setting suffer stigmatization when it is discovered that they contract the disease. From being negated to house chores and odd daily jobs most are unaware of the rights especially on matters revolving around access to voluntary counseling and testing in a bid to reduce the prevalence of the scourge amongst the local populace.

Transmission of mother to child during child birth is one other issue communicated during the sensitization drives. To women in the southern province of Rwanda.

One positive outcome was also the participation of men from the community who pledged their support in raising the awareness of the women on the eradication of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Sensitization Drives in Ruhango
Sensitization Drives in Ruhango

In a bid to be in touch with the rural community in the Southern Province of Rwanda Human Rights First Rwanda Association took to the field by organizing for an awareness raising outreach activity.

In this outreach drive all the nine sectors of Kamonyi district were covered and the message on non-discrimination, testing, and treatment of women living with HIV/AIDS was on the agenda. The ultimate beneficiaries of the outreach programs were women living with HIV/AIDS in the rural community but a wider network of persons was engaged through this drive.

Local administrators, Mediation council members, Village health officers, women cooperatives all have a part to play in ensuring g the respect of the rights of women living with HIV/AIDS.

One of the recommendations reached included a more strengthened approach to the advocacy strategies for these marginalized persons , It was a positive move also that local leaders pledged their support towards the advocacy means laid out and vowed to take a tough stance towards discriminatory tendencies.

Woman participating during outreach drive
Woman participating during outreach drive
Networking Skills on fighting HIV/AIDS in Rwanda
Networking Skills on fighting HIV/AIDS in Rwanda


Human Rights First Rwanda Association has been very instrumental in networking for advocacy in women’s rights with special focus on women living with HIV.

There are multiple stakeholders in the empowerment of women living with HIV / AIDS

Some of these include the Media Civil Society Organizations Government institutions as well Legal Aid Providers.

In this Regard Human Rights First Rwanda Association joined forces with all stakeholders giving them an insight on the roles they can lay in empowering Women with HIV/AIDS.

We went ahead to build strategies on working with rural networks ad coalitions that advocate for the rights of women living with HIV /AIDS.

The challenges include access to life supporting medication as well as the acceptance and adherence of their status by the community who stigmatize them.

Awareness in Kamonyi District
Awareness in Kamonyi District

Awareness raising in the Rural areas of Rwanda has been seen as an essential tool in combating the multiple discriminatory tendencies aimed against women with HIV/AIDS. The various misconceptions that exist amongst the public lead to the stigmatization and discrimination that are widespread in Rural Areas.

It is for this reason that Human Rights First Rwanda Association embarked on awareness drives targeting the rural area of Kamonyi District where local community members alongside their leaders were trained on non-discriminatory practices like inclusivity.

Positive results were yielded from the awareness drives like creating space for economic activities tailored for women with HIV/AIDS.

With the support of the local leaders and the community at large it can be said that policies and practices that are sensitive towards Women with HIV/AIDS in Kamonyi District will be streamlined and put into practice. 

Women Beneficiaries during the outreach activity
Women Beneficiaries during the outreach activity

Human Rights First Rwanda Association carries out monthly outreach programs in the different sectors of Kamonyi district in a bid to educate and raise awareness in the whole society on the plight of the HIV/AIDS and on the rights of people with this disease. 

Raising awareness and educating the masses helps change the negative mindset otherwise associated with the disaese and the people affected with it especially the women, 

This monthly outreach programs are carried out by the staff of our organisation and the 3rd year law students of our partner university, the Kigali Lay Adventists University who benefit from the programs by getting exposed to the community issues and understanding better through putting in practice what they learn in school and helping the people in the community. 

These outreach programs have gone along way in not only making people realise the HIV/AIDS is a disease lika any other and not a curse but also helped paved a way for the women living with this disease to live more freely in the society becuas they are now more confident to live among other without fear of discrimination.


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Organization Information

Human Rights First Rwanda Association

Location: Kigali - Rwanda
Project Leader:
Nzovu Job Ruzage
Kigali, Rwanda

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