Rwanda needs to ‘adequately address gender equity’

Rwanda is among the very few countries that have made positive steps in promoting gender equality but more needed to be done.

Rwanda is among the very few countries that have made positive steps in promoting gender equality but more needed to be done.

This was revealed Wednesday by a consultant for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) John Mutamba, during a workshop at Hotel Novotel Umubano.

The workshop mainly dealt on the findings of an assessment on the prospects of mainstreaming gender in local governments with Rulindo and Gicumbi as the pilot districts.

While giving his presentation on the findings from the mapping study of the two districts, the consultant said that although many women have been empowered in Rwanda, more should be involved at different administrative levels.

“There are things that need to be changed administratively, like the local government should endeavour to involve women in planning, budgeting and decision making policies,” Mutamba said.

According to the study carried out in Rulindo district, the number of women involved in various economic sectors is modest in comparison with men’s representation in business.

This is due to the fact that women are seldom involved in large  businesses and rarely become entrepreneurs in this sector.

“Women usually remain in subsistence agriculture for survival thus making no profit. They also depend on male relatives and husbands for survival and this needs to be changed through developing a comprehensive capacity building plan for the district,” Mutamba added.

The national program officer from UNIFEM, Donnah Kamashazi, says the study from the two pilot districts is going to help greatly in addressing the gender issues for development.

“We have discovered a lot from the exercise like the fact that the very few women benefit from the district budget because the sectors addressed rarely involve gender issues,” Kamashazi said.

The workshop brought together representatives from the central government departments, districts, civil society organizations and development partners involved in gender budgeting.

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