Women have been challenged to make use of the favourable policies to contribute to their own progress and that of the nation.
The call was made on Thursday by Salafina Flavia, a board member of the National Women Council, ahead of celebrations to mark International Day of Rural Women.
The celebrations to mark the day will take place in Gicumbi District today under the theme, “The development of a woman is a family’s pride: make it happen.”
Speaking to journalists in Kigali, Flavia said despite the current progress, some challenges remain.
“As we celebrate, we should also evaluate our achievements and explore ways to accelerate our progress,” she said.
She noted that the role of rural women is significant in the country and the world over because they provide food security for communities.
Henriette Umulisa, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, said there is need to address barriers to rural women’s progress if they are to play a key role in the country’s development.
The rural woman still faces challenges such as poverty, poor sanitation and poor feeding.
“Regardless of the challenges, women have managed to achieve a lot because of the present leadership. The Government has put in place many programmes to promote the development of women. There are appreciable steps considering where we have come from. The day is therefore worth celebrating,” Umulisa said.
She observed that rural women are now able to join cooperatives, access loans and education unlike in the past.
Jacqueline Kamanzi Masabo, the executive secretary of the National Women’s Council, attributed the current progress in women empowerment to favourable government policies.
During today’s celebrations, an outstanding woman from every district will be recognised.
In a message to mark the day, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, noted that the celebration comes just after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and urged global leaders to seize the opportunity offered by the new framework to transform rural women’s lives.