Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe is an umbrella organisation working for the advancement of women, peace, and development in Rwanda. Since the 1994 genocide, the coalition has grown to include 58 member associations. Their efforts are geared toward what they define as three aspects of development:
- Integrated development: political, economic, social and cultural development.
- Durable development: reconciliation and peace.
- Equitable development: justice and the eradication of all discrimination
Pro-Femmes has played an important role in many national Rwandan peace initiatives, providing training in peacekeeping, conflict management, mediation and reconciliation that empower women in leadership roles. Together with the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, they have trained 25,000 Abunzi (a traditional conflict resolution mechanism), over 30% of whom were women, responsible for mediating community land disputes. They have also trained judges and witnesses—who were 35% women—in the gacaca courts that tried genocide crimes.
Pro-Femmes has successfully led reintegration programmes for returning prisoners, survivors and demobilised soldiers, reaching a total of 3,308 men and women in Rwanda. They have also helped to reintegrate 3,600 former soldiers from the Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration camp on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Following UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (calling for a gender perspective on conflict issues), Pro-femmes/Twese Hamwe participated in developing a National Action Plan in order to formally implement women’s involvement in peace efforts in Rwanda. The organisation is also coordinating a coalition against gender-based violence which has mobilised many elements of Rwandan civil society.