One of the things Ban Ki-Moon, the UN boss first commended during his visit on Sunday was the country’s attainment of gender parity at all levels.
Ban’s esteemed approbation came days after the national consultations on gender responsive budgeting were hosted by the line Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning and that of Gender and Family Promotion at Prime Holdings in Kigali City.
It also came when in just a week’s time, the 2009 International Women’s Day celebrations where women economic, political and social achievements in the past, present and future are annually recognized.
During the consultations, findings quoted from a study conducted by United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), in the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi, indicate that there is an acute shortage of gender expertise necessary for gender analysis, planning and budgeting.
This is basically one of the reasons these consultations were held, to emphasize the need to consider gender budgeting while considering the overall budgeting process.
Rwanda, despite the fact that it has received a positive nod as one of the first sub-Saharan African countries to have attained one of the 3rd Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is at a shortfall when auditing the effectiveness of aid in advancing gender equality and women empowerment.
According to Donnah Kamashazi, the Country Representative of UNIFEM, there has not been sufficient focus this issue.
Kamashazi says that once implemented gender responsive budgeting will be making the national budget more transparent and accessible.
Whereas most people are perfectly open to the idea of gender equality, they often lack the understanding of designing specific policies to make this happen in their respective sectors.
Rwanda has already made bold commitments on gender by even launching the Gender Responsive Programme (GRP) in November last year.
The gender responsive budgeting is therefore not only timely for the purposes of ‘check and balances’ but will also improve accountability of government towards gender equality, women’s rights and empowerment within other international commitments like the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).