This year’s Women’s Day celebrations in the country will be used to evaluate performance contracts signed by women at family and sector level last year.
The celebrations due next Sunday will be marked under the theme; Let’s strengthen performance contracts in development.
The national celebrations will take place in Ngoma District but there will also be similar events at sector level across the country.
The performance contracts to be evaluated were signed during last year’s Women’s Day celebrations.
Under the contracts, women committed to fighting prostitution, resolving family wrangles and helping women street vendors get permanent stalls in established markets.
Speaking at a news briefing in Kigali yesterday, the executive secretary of the National Women Council, Jackline Kamanzi Masabo, said they would strengthen family meetings commonly known as Umugoroba wababyeyi credited with addressing conflicts in communities.
Other activities to be carried out include award of best female students in last year’s national examinations at various levels by the Imbuto Foundation, rehabilitation of houses for vulnerable women and signing new performance contracts, according to Kamanzi.
Henriette Umulisa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, stressed the need to strengthen policies which guarantee women rights.
Umulisa said there is remarkable improvement of women in different aspects but noted that there should be no room for complacence.
Having big number of women in decision making is a positive gesture, she said.
“In education, boys were favoured at the expense of girls but now, boys and girls have equal education opportunities,” Umulisa said.
She reaffirmed government’s commitment to preserving the dignity of women by reducing maternal mortality rate, gender based violence and poverty.
Umulisa urged Rwandans to overcome traditional stereotypes against women, saying discrimination of a section of the population affects national development.
The International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 annually. The day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.
Women and child protection was among the topics discussed at the recently concluded Leadership Retreat in Gabiro. The Retreat condemned and called on all leaders to step up and help fight violence against women and children.
This year’s national theme; “Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity” envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income and living in a society free from violence and discrimination.
The day will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for the realisation of women’s rights.
It is believed that while there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain.
Policy makers say this is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognise challenges and focus on women’s rights and gender equality.