In May 2014, I became a DOT Intern, and added many new skills and experiences. I enjoy the climate of gender equality that DOT has developed, and I know those efforts are working. I have seen and heard endless success stories from participants and other Interns. This added many on the improvement on my willing to work hard.
I have been implementing DOT's gender equality strategy through my Internship, which has resulted in the active participation of both men and women in Rwanda's economic development. My DOT Intern profile and gender equality-related experience acquired through Millennia2015 programs have much contributed to my success in different initiatives.
One month after joining DOT, I represented Rwanda in a continent-wide business competition in Niger. I was among the top 25 finalists, and for that, I owe the business skills gained through DOT's Business Model Canvas tool, which allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.
In addition, I wrote a paper on gender and education, which won a prize and allowed me to attend the World Congress 2014 of Global Partnership for Young Women in Seoul, South Korea with two other members of Millennia2015. The team of Millennia2015 triumphed at the congress. That paper's abstract is titled: "Development of the Education System for Women's Capacity Building." While there, I was given the honor of serving as the President of Student Organizing Committee at the congress, a position I was granted after a speech I gave gained the highest number of votes.
I am convinced men should be engaged in reducing and preventing gender-based violence. Society is such that in some families, the man is the king and sets the rules. In most of cases, women are considered followers. In our current distribution of roles, some women are still marginalized. For example, cultural norms in Africa have meant that it is hard for many people to believe that a young man like me leads the world congress of young women. Their culture has convinced them that gender issues are women-only problems. However, the world's gender-based issues need the participation of both women and men, because these are social issues, affecting everyone in the community. Gender equality is not a loss for men, but rather an enormously positive step towards enabling us all to live better lives.
We must work together on ending gender-based violence, and when striving to close the gender gap. I pledge, at all cost, to call men to take part in alleviating gender inequality.
On April 25, 2015, I will be speaking about the issue of gender-based violence at Namur University in Belgium. This is just another opportunity to show the importance of male participation in ending gender-based violence. With Millennia2015, it is just another opportunity we have to make it happen. I want to tell all people of the world that men are 50% supporter in the efforts of ending Gender-based violence.
By Justin HAGENA KAKUMBA
|Justin (the second from right) along with other DOT Rwanda Interns and members of the gender hub in which he is leader
||Justin with the Cameroon and Korea teams at the World Congress 2014 of Global Partnership for Young Women in Seoul|