The Liberal Party (PL) has incorporated activities to promote gender equality and women’s welfare into its next five-year action plan and current fiscal year, its president Donatille Mukabalisa has said.
Mukabalisa, who is also the Speaker of Parliament, was speaking at an annual conference of the National Council of the party on Sunday in Kigali.
“People should understand that gender and family promotion are key to family and national development. It’s our mandate as a party to promote women’s rights so that they contribute to sustainable national development,” she said.
“Whenever the family understands equality between wife and a husband, girl and boy, that they are meant to complement each other, harmony and development will be realised.”
She said that under their seven year programme, building a secure and sustainable family has been given special attention.
The party targets to double its budget from Rwf66 million spent in the last fiscal.
Mukabalisa said that the principle of gender parity should be cultivated among the party members who were urged to go and explain these values to other citizens in their different localities.
Speaking at the meeting, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari urged political parties in Rwanda to play a role in gender equality and family welfare.
“Gender equity and equality is misunderstood by some Rwandans. The policy should not be triggering conflicts in families, instead it should be a tool for building a peaceful family,” she said.
She said that the government has put in place several measures to empower women in different sectors.
“We (Rwanda) rank fourth in bridging the gender gap but in the education sector we still need more efforts compared to other sectors such as good governance and economy ,” she said.
The global gender gap 2017 report by the World Economic Forum shows that Rwanda climbed one place to fourth, globally.
The report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.
Gender equality and family promotion must go hand in hand with financial capacity of women by helping them create jobs and other income generating sources as well as learning technical skills to eliminate myths that such works are reserved for men, the minister said.
She added that economic empowerment of families will eradicate poverty that is partly to blame for street children and unwanted pregnancies among teenagers.