The United Nations agency for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is holding a three-day workshop in Kigali to consult with the Government and other stakeholders on the formulation of its five-year work plan.
UN Women was created last year to fight violence against women and girls, through working with governments to establish legal and policy framework and to facilitate women empowerment.
It is Rwanda’s remarkable gender equality credentials and the concerted efforts in fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV) that has made the country a reference point on matters related to empowering women.
Over the last sixteen years, the government has set up institutions and policies that have enabled women to be an integral part of the reconciliation, reconstruction and development process in the country. The fact that they are key decision makers at all levels of government, has further given them confidence in life and earned more respect and dignity not only from the society, but from within their families.
GBV has always been an obstacle to women empowerment, and to realize the full potential of women, it is imperative that this is done away with. The government, Police, media, civil society organizations and Parliamentarians have done a great job fighting GBV. However, there is a lot more to get done, especially in the field of awareness.
As UN Women draws up its work plans, awareness should feature among the priorities. If women are to realize their full potential, the general public will need to understand that any form of violence or discrimination against women must be eliminated.