Members of Rwanda Women Parliamentarians Forum (RWPF), who are currently meeting in the Western Province, have acknowledged that poverty among women remains a major challenge.
The lawmakers are meeting evaluate their 2009 activities and part of 2010 and set projections for the coming year.
“Most women in the country live in extreme poverty in villages and the meeting will ponder a way forward. Despite existing mechanisms, some women have complexes in seeking bank loans,” said Senator Marie Mukantabana, the RWPF president.
“During our visits to all districts in the country, we identified challenges facing women, including women who are ignorant of the laws favouring them, low income and inaccessibility to loans,” Mukantabana said.
The two-day meeting is also focussing on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), specifically in the improvement of maternal health, intensification of the fight against child mortality and the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment.
During the meeting, male members, mainly from the Upper Chamber of parliament were welcomed into the forum.
Created in 1996, RWPF works towards uniting women parliamentarians together, irrespective of their political affiliations.
RWPF’s core mission is to fight gender-based violence, help review the existing laws on women’s rights and a gender-based control of government action and budget.