RWANDA: New Programme to Empower Women

Monday, September 27, 2010
Central Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

Rwandan women from the agriculture sector will benefit from a United Nations Programme to enhance the participation of women in good governance and access to services.

The programme known as Gender and Democratic Governance under the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) was launched on Thursday and is aimed at enhancing Gender Responsiveness in service Delivery within the Agricultural sector as well as the capacity of Gender Monitoring Office.

The programme which is currently being implemented in 3 countries has an objective of increasing the technical capacity of national gender observatory to interpret policy, monitor effectively and influence national programmes on service delivery and integrate women in the decision making process.

During a stakeholders meeting recently held in Kigali, it was agreed that the Gender Monitoring Office with the help of UNIFEM shall implement the programme in coordination with ministries and key actors for gender responsive planning, programming, budgeting and service delivery.

With agriculture being the centre of the livelihood of Rwandans, accounting for a third of Rwanda's GDP, the programme will be seeking to empower women who form the majority in the agriculture, to be part of the democratic governance process.

The Agricultural Survey 2008 (NISR, 2009) reported that 84% of the Rwandan population was agricultural, 52% of who were women.

The main activity undertaken by the majority of the agricultural population is farm works to which the women contribute about 42% of the active persons carrying out agriculture activities for families.

To support reforms towards enhancing gender equality in the agriculture sector, particularly the way services are conceptualized, designed, funded and executed, with the ultimate aim of improving women's access to public services.

GMO, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the UNIFEM/UNDP is planning to implement a Gender and Governance Programme to enhance gender responsive service delivery in the agricultural sector.

The programme focus is on supporting gender-sensitive institutional change in the governance, policy processes, implementation channels and channels for citizen engagement.

Prior to the launching of this programme, a Baseline Study was commissioned to analyze the gender dimensions in the provisions of agriculture services in Rwanda. The Draft Report was submitted in August 2010.