"Our mission is to fight violence against women associated with property." — Drocella Mukantwali

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Association de la Promotion de La Femme et L'Enfant Rwandais (APROFER)

Fighting Violence Against Women Associated with Property Rights Through Training, Ideas Exchange and Debates

According to APROFER's 16 team members, men are often valued more than women, resulting in inequality especially in managing property. While women are responsible for almost all farming and household tasks, they have no power over family wealth. Men do not share with women information about their salaries, and when they die, widows do not understand their rights to property left by their husbands. Women are often evicted from land that is rightfully theirs because there is little knowledge about the laws that protect them among the local population and authorities. Since children also have little knowledge of their property rights, girls may marry early out of economic necessity.

This project in the rural district of Kibuye is working to educate the community on domestic violence and women's property rights. Serving estranged couples, youth about to get married, and widows in property disputes with their in-laws, APROFER is training community leaders to follow up on cases of domestic violence with the local authorities. By demonstrating the negative effects of domestic violence through trainings and debates, they address belief systems among men and women regarding property rights. By creating and supporting a community environment that is educated about violence related to property rights, their theory of change is that people will work to combat the issue collectively and have a greater impact on the issue.

In order to maximize the reach of their social venture, APROFER identified 70 individuals from various neighborhoods who are committed to non-violence and trained them as "focal points". The focal points, comprised of married and engaged couples, widows and local leaders, visit families and widows living with domestic violence. They also consult with couples in heated legal disputes (often a catalyst for violence) to provide counseling and training about the law and human rights. The married focal points also serve as role models of peaceful partnerships for the community.

APROFER has also held public discussions about family property management, laws of succession and improving the emotional well being of the family unit. At least 500 people have heard their message. As a result of their work, an increasing number of women are now a part of family property management, and the youth in these communities are growing up with new expectations about gender equality. The trainings, home visits and public debates have been so successful that local leaders have asked APROFER to expand their training program from the local to the district level in order to reach more people.

Project Details


Grant Amount: $3100
Team Size: 16 team members
Social Impact: 500 people

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