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The board and staff of Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe wishes you a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year of 2017

On 21st December 2016, representatives from Government institutions, civil society, private sector and media convened in Kigali for a half a day dialogue organized by Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe that aimed at fostering mutual understanding of the new provisions in the law Nº32/2016 of 28/08/2016 governing persons and family. The amended law aligns with the national Constitution and current realities that promote gender equality and women’s rights in Rwanda. It binds a set of rules that govern different aspects of life of people in Rwanda from birth to parenting, marriage and divorce, or solving family issues.

Participants in the dialogue exchanged and discussed in detail some of the notable changes in the new law compared to the Law nº 42/1988 of 27 October 1988 instituting the Preliminary Title and Book One of the Civil Code :

• The age of consent was revised from 21 to 18, except for marriage (article 113 Vs Art 431 of the 1988 law) ;
• Introduction of family councils that are legally vested with powers and responsibilities to settle disputes arising in families
( article 162-165 Vs Art 431 of the 1988 law )
• The marital domicile is at the place mutually agreed upon by the spouses (article 55) while the former law provided that the legal domicile of the wife is the one of her husband (Art.83 of the 1988 law) ;
• Prior to officiating at marriage, the civil registrar must inform the intending spouses of matrimonial regime at least seven (7) days prior to officiating at marriage per se (article 171. 2°).

Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe commends the achievements of the country in promoting gender equality and women’s rights. Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe recognizes that collective action is required in the dissemination of the law and is committed to enhancing networking with other stakeholders in order to effectively disseminate the law among citizens. The following are the recommendations put forward by Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe in regard to the law governing persons and family :

• Responsible Ministries (MIGEPROF, MINALOC) should facilitate the dissemination of the law at grassroots level through local leaders and avail simplified and comprehensive tools for effective dissemination of the law (MINIJUST), taking into
consideration other related laws including but not limited to the family law and the law governing matrimonial regime, donations and successions ;
• Civil society and the private sector should enhance mobilization on the fight against gender based violence, promotion of gender equality and call upon families to honor their responsibilities ;
• Media (print, radio, TV, online and social media) should engage in the dissemination of the law by publishing stories and messages that promote gender equality and women’s rights.

Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe is a national civil society umbrella organization established in 1992, currently composed of 57 organizations ;
the umbrella aims at advancing women, peace and development in Rwanda.
Contact Person : Emma Marie BUGINGO, Executive Secretary of Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe, Email : profemmes2013@gmail.com ; Mobile : +250 788 30 2510