Rwanda’s push for gender equality improves women’s lives in the countryside

Nov 26, 2015 Rwanda currently ranks as one of the countries with the smallest gender gaps, following a 70 percent surge in its female population after the 1994 genocide.

In recent years, the government has intensified efforts to promoted gender equality through its new constitution. The new laws currently gives women rights to land, inheritance, education and employment opportunities.

In its stride to cub gender inequality, the government also introduced gender equality trainings in local communities.

Five years later, about 6,000 families have gone through the training.

Commenting on the link between gender inequality in the household and poverty, Raymond Kamwe, the project’s gender specialist said:

“Gender is a key part of our training programme because we know the significant role that women play in lifting households out of poverty. Women are critical for the agricultural sector so we emphasize gender equality in farming so that they can contribute and share their vision for their family’s future,”

In Rwanda, 46% of all decision-making positions at district level are held by women. Its parliament also has the highest number of women globally.

Despite the progress made, Rwandan women still lag behind in traditionally male-dominated fields like science and business.

Kayilisa Caritas, a gender coordinator at the ministry of Agriculture, said:

“We can’t talk about gender equality without talking about the financial independence of women. So we want our women to be economically empowered so that they can face their future,”

In recent years, Rwandan lawmakers have passed several legislations on gender issues, including abolishing patriarchal laws, which has made it easier for women to take advantage of opportunities to develop themselves.

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