On Tuesday, representatives of government and development partners converged at Kiziguro Catholic Parish in Gatsibo District to mark the International Day of the Girl Child.
Addressing participants, Gatsibo District Mayor, Richard Gasana, said the government found it important to give women equal opportunity.
“In a country where women constitute a bigger percentage of the population, you cannot dare shut them out and think you will attain development,” he started.
“Government put in place several institutions and initiatives to bring women on board in all undertakings, first in public institutions as entrenched in the constitution,” he said.
As per the Rwandan constitution, women should comprise at least 30 per cent of any decision making organ.
On mainstreaming, he said, it is by default that at every level of authority, 30 per cent must be women. This means the remaining 70 per cent is shared under the usual regulations of work.
The country director of Plan International, Marie Gladys Archange Guerrier, hailed government for its relentless efforts to attain gender equality.
“We are partnering with a people who already understand the importance of gender equality and we are proud of the Rwandan government for that,” she said.
She promised to continue the partnership with the government to curb challenges that come with the struggle for gender equality.
During the event, Aime Kundinka, a young woman from Kageyo Sector in Gatsibo District, commended the opportunity that has been given to girls irrespective of their backgrounds.
She gave a testimony of how she started out with rearing five chicks which later multiplied enabling her to get school fees through selling eggs from her poultry.
She did this until the introduction of the 12-year-basic education of which she became a beneficiary, thereby attending school free of charge.
In 2013, she had completed her high school and since she had not spent on school fees, her small scale poultry business had drastically grown.
She eventually opened a veterinary post in Kageyo Sector just before she proceeded to university.
“I am a living testimony to the reality that in this country, no matter who you are or where you come from, whether you are a man or woman, you can make it as long as you work hard,” she said.
During the ceremony, Plan International Rwanda donated fourteen sewing machines, one knitting machine, thirty goats and fifteen dignitary kits and the their essentials, worth Rwf5.3 million, to fifteen women who dropped out of schools because of unwanted pregnancies.