Anglican Church of Burundi


11 Mar 2024 • News


Burundi as other countries has cultural norms which show differences between roles and responsibilities of women and men. This difference leads to misunderstanding or misinterpretation of gender aspect.

The culture norms have caused mistreatment of men towards women. As men sometimes are considered as stronger than women, some people misuse this conception of power and intentionnally or not perpetrate violence against others mainly women.

In order to join the celebration of the International Women’s day, SADC through SAFE HOUSE in collaboration with Liebnezell Mission has organized a Bible study to reflect on positive masculity. This event has convayed men among them were former perpetrators of violence against their wives. This reflection based on Holy scruptures aimed to explore ways of change by discovering the truth that each person needs to know.

According to Revd Albert from Liebnezell Mission who led this Bible study, it ‘s encouraging to see men sitting together and discuss about the improvement of their relations with their spouses. For this Anglican Priest, that meeting followed other 3 meetings held with men whose initiative of taking the lead to speak about their transformation has had a significant impact in addressing gender issues. Revd Albert said that he has been impressed by the commitment and willingness expressed by these men to bring changes in their families and communities. Most of them have been assisted by SAFE HOUSE following the healing process that their wives went through and decided to create an association called « Association des Hommes pour le Changement »

Though Burundian culture presents men with enomous power, this association has helped many men to accept the reality that men also have weaknesses and need to change certain behaviors and improve their relationship with their wives. The Bible Study based discussions conducted in this session, focussed on discovering the real fact of the possibility to change and overcome what seems to be impossible as we can not only rely on human wisdom and power to change but we also need to accept that God provides help for those willing to change.

Revd Albert who led the session has facilitated the groupe to reflect on the example of Gedeon who fought the fight with few men and defeated a srtrong army of thousands troops despite the weaknesses he was aware of about himself. The initiative of SADC through Safe House to focus on men is motivated by the fact that several interventions regarding gender target women, but it’s also a concern for men as many stories of husbands involved in the promotion of positive masculinity have shown the effectiveness of engaging men to address gender concerns. They affirm that these kind of discussions have facilitated them in the process towards a positive change.

According to Revd Albert, it’s obvious that weaknesses that everybody has can be transformed if we are aware of them and decide to present them to Christ with humility and honnest as the Bible highlights some people who were at some points weak, have accomplished great things after gaining support from God to overcome their weaknesses.

Some questions raised from this Bible study pointed out some behaviors, anger, the misunderstanding of each other, the lack of capacity for self control, discrimination in decision making, as causes which irritate people mainly men and cause them to act violently. According to the participants and from their experience, these causes have been resolved by communication between husband and wifes.

As there is not a one way to improve relations between couples, these men who have been invited in this reflection have understood the importance of being creative and innovative in seeking the best ways to build mutual understanding, sharing thoughts, roles and responsibilities in the households and this will contribute to reduce gender based violences and social injustice in their communities.