Rwanda media Commission, the media self-regulatory body has ordered a US-owned Christian radio station based in Kigali shut for three months after accusing it of denigrating women.
The directive came on Monday after Amazing Grace FM, broadcast a sermon by local pastor Nicolas Niyibikora on January 29, in which he called women dangerous, evil and against the plans of God.
The broadcast angered Rwanda women groups including the National Women’s Association and the Women’s Journalist Association.
Before the directive was issued, a public hearing was held at Rwanda Media Commission in Kigali about various petitions seeking explanations from managers of the radio station for allowing to air a sermon degrading women in Rwanda.
After the hearing, the Executive Committee of the Rwanda Media Commission resolved to write to RURA, the regulator, asking it to shut down the station.
Rwanda has made gains in advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality, and the East African country is hailed globally as a role model.
Women constitute over 60% of the legislature, and conditions to encourage more women to occupy senior positions are provided for legally.
The Global Gender Gap Reports have ranked Rwanda highly in closing gender gaps in the world, coming after countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Ireland.
The radio station is owned by American evangelist Gregg Schoof who said during the hearing that he does not condone denigration of women.