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This publication describes the UN Women Rwanda Office's effort in dealing with Gender-Based Violence (GBV) victims using different approaches in both GBV prevention and response. It also provides success stories from different beneficiaries in relation to legal assistance which showed that in most cases it requires strong courage from the victims to bring the perpetrators to justice especially in the context of negative cultural beliefs, women's economic dependence, fear of discrimination and stigmatization among other challenges. The document also highlights the role of mobile legal clinic in increasing the proximity of legal services to the community including awareness-raising and legal literacy.
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This analytical study covered ten countries in the region and looked at issues of access to justice for women and girls in East and Southern Africa.
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It is a reality that our region carries the highest prevalence of child marriage and female genital mutilation in the world, impacting millions of our girls. These harmful traditional practices have devastating impact including loss of life, risk of disease such as fistula, loss of education and life opportunities, trauma and other psycho-social impacts resulting in deepening poverty and perpetuating a cycle of abuse. This calls on us as traditional and religious leaders to urgently assume our role as protectors of our children. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the prevalence of genderbased violence in our countries and communities.