Tracking women’s progress in Rwanda

Tomorrow is International Women’s day. several activities will be carried out at different levels nationally and the women’s month will be launched as well.
Photo / David Winston Hansen.
Photo / David Winston Hansen.

Tomorrow is International Women’s day. several activities will be carried out at different levels nationally and the women’s month will be launched as well.  The first week will be dedicated to girl-child education, the second week will address women’s economic empowerment, the third will tackle issues of women social affairs and the last week will celebrate women in good governance and justice.  Women Today’s Doreen Umutesi and Patrick Buchana interviewed four women to discover how the women’s movement is progressing.

More women access contraceptives:  Fortune Kamanyana, midwife

Fortune Kamanyana, a registered midwife in charge of Family Planning at King Faisal Hospital (KFH) says that the number of women using family planning methods has increased compared to previous times.

“We work around the government health programme to address MDG 5 that by 2015 maternal mortality and infant mortality rate would have reduced completely.  For example maternal mortality has reduced because women are using family planning methods. A few years ago here at King Faisal hospital 40% of women used contraceptives but in 2012, after looking at the number of women who give birth in this hospital, 70% are using different kinds of family planning methods,” Kamanyana reveals.

In 2010, the maternal mortality rate was 340 deaths/100,000 live births according to demographic statistics. For instance 1071 maternal deaths reduced to 476 thus maternal deaths have reduced by 50 per cent.

Kamanyana also revealed that the stereotypes of families having many children has changed completely.

“As a result of continuous awareness at all levels in the country regarding the importance of family planning, some barriers such as culture and religious beliefs have been broken to some extent.  For example, men always thought that family planning was only a woman’s initiative but it’s now changing. Last year there were two men who had vasectomy. The number of men coming with their wives to select a specific family planning method to use has also increased. Family planning is a collective initiative for the couples and I can happily say that the future is bright,” Kamanyana expresses. 

She also said that the existing challenge is the fact that some women who use shorter family planning methods such as pills or the three month injection tend to forget to take more pills or take another injection.

“I advise my fellow women while we are celebrating women‘s day and month to always celebrate their health as well. I advise them to use family planning methods to have a healthy and happy family,” she ends.

 

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