Local researchers have been advised to delve into research on gender issues in the country.
The call was made, yesterday, by the Director of the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development (CGCD), Prof. Shirley Randell. She was speaking at the opening of a forum on Gender research and activism.
According to Randell, little research has, so far, been conducted on gender issues.
“Even the little that is available is dominated by other foreign researchers,” she said.
“I urge local researchers to conduct a lot of research that will come up with solutions to problems affecting women,” she said, adding that the forum will, among other things, help come up with various research topics.
The conference brought together scholars and people working on gender issues in Rwanda. Randell says it is meant to bring into line and to strengthen current research on women and gender in the country.
“Rwanda is one country that has good gender policies, but there is a mismatch between them and the implementation. Such issues need to be examined by researchers so that the causes are known,” she said.
She gave an example where girls’ enrolment in school is high at the lower level and tremendously decreases at the higher level. “The policies are clear, but the trend is not changing.”
Speaking at the forum, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr. Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya, said the government is committed to gender development. She added that the commitment is being translated into actions through various programmes.
The Rector of Kigali Institute of Education (KIE), Prof. George Njoroge, emphasised the need for more research, but called for more understanding of the subject.
“We need to have the right knowledge of the society while carrying out research,” he said, and emphasised the need to fully understand what gender is.
CGCD aims to develop gender expertise in academics and practitioners. It also stimulates research and documentation in key gender issues.