National Action Plan: Rwanda

Flag of Rwanda

Rwanda has adopted two National Action Plans (NAPs) to date, in 2009 and 2018, to be implemented for the period of 2009-2012 and 2018-2022, respectively. 

Rwanda's second NAP builds on an evaluation of and lessons learned from the implementation of the previous 2009-2012 NAP in Rwanda. This previous NAP provided a post-conflict framework to the country for women’s participation in peace and security processes and the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. The second NAP takes a close look at the incremental gains achieved as a result of concerted efforts to implement UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda in Rwanda as well as challenges that continue to face the country in addressing women’s meaningful participation in all facets of life, the occurrence of sexual and gender based violence, and access to resources. 

Rwanda’s history is marked by the 1994 civil war that resulted in a genocide where an estimated 800,000-1 million people, mostly the Tutsi minority, were killed by the majority Hutus. The war had a distinct gendered impact on women, as rape was systematically used as a weapon of war. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established in 1994 to prosecute the perpetrators of the genocide, and for the first time in international law, the court recognized sexual violence as a component of genocide. 

The Rwandan government placed particular emphasis on post-conflict reconstruction in the aftermath of the war, with women playing a key role in recovery efforts. This concerted effort resulted in a constitution that implemented a mandatory 30% quota for women in elected positions. Today, Rwanda is a world leader in women’s political representation, with women holding over 60% of positions in the lower house. Despite this promising number, systemic barriers still exist to women’s equal rights in daily life.   

In 2018, Rwanda spent $119 million on military expenses. Rwanda has been a member of the UN since 1962 and is among the top contributors to UN Peacekeeping Operations, with a total of 6,520 personnel serving in missions as of July 2019. Rwanda signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which regulates the flow of weapons across international borders.

Document PDF: 

Civil Society Monitoring Report

Rwanda analysis: Miller, Pournik, Swaine

Rwanda NAP 2018

WILPF International does not have a country section in Rwanda and therefore was not involved in the development process of Rwanda’s NAP.
Civil Society Actors

NAP Development:

Rwandan civil society organisations, including women’s organisations participated in the creation and the development of the Regional Women's Forum (RWF) which was able to secure space for advocacy and to voice women’s issues in consultations. Civil society groups who continued to be involved as part of the Steering Committee in the development of the second generation NAP include: Femme/Twese Hamwe, Collectif et Ligue des Associations des Droits de l’Homme (a umbrella human rights coalition), Pro Femme Twese Hamwe, and the Center for Conflict Management. 

NAP Implementation:

Civil society participated in nationwide consultations with others (government representatives, research institutions, bilateral and multilateral partners) in the development of the NAP. There is also civil society representation in the Steering Committee for the implementation of the NAP. However, the chair of this committee is the head of the Ministry of Gender and Family Protection.

NAP Monitoring & Evaluation:

A Steering Committee is tasked with overseeing the monitoring and evaluation of the NAP. The document lists Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe and CLADHO as the civil society organizations included on the Committee. 

Government Actors

NAP Development:

There is a Steering Committee comprised of ten ministries (including Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians, National Women Council, National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, National Human Rights Commission, and Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission among others) tasked with overseeing the implementation of the NAP. 

NAP Implementation:

The Rwandan NAP assigns government ministries to specific activities. These include: Ministries of Gender and Family Promotion, and Local Administration, National Women Council, GMO, Rwandan Defense Forces, Forum of Rwandan Parliamentarians, and the ministries listed above and below.

NAP Monitoring & Evaluation:

A Steering Committee tasked with overseeing the monitoring and evaluation process is comprised of the following ministries: Gender and Family Promotion; Foreign Affairs and East African Community; Local Government; Finance and Economic Planning; Education; Gender and Family Promotion; Health, and the Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians.


The current Rwandan NAP is organized into five pillar areas:  

Pillar I: Participation and Leadership of Women in Decision-making

Pillar II: Prevention of Violence against Women and Involvement in Conflict Prevention

Pillar III: Protection From Violence

Pillar IV: Equal Access to Means of Relief, Economic Recovery and Rehabilitation

Pillar V: Women’s Promotion and Gender Mainstreaming in Rwanda’s Foreign Service and International and Regional Cooperation

Each pillar has a stated commitment by the government and a set of objectives. For example, for Pillar II: Prevention of Violence against Women and Involvement in Conflict Prevention, the government committs to “improve intervention strategies in the prevention of violence against women, including engaging more substantially the community and especially men as well as strengthening community institutional capacities to prevent violence”. This is followed by a stated outcome: “Increased efforts in conflict and SGBV prevention at the local level set of objectives” and supported by a set of projected outputs: Increased public awareness on GBV issues; Improved accountability mechanisms for GBV at the local level; Gender responsive early warning and conflict prevention mechanisms established.


The NAP indicates a number of identified activities to support the implementation of the plan within the targeted time frame. For example, under the implementation matrix for Pillar II: Prevention of Violence against Women and Involvement in Conflict Prevention, one of main outcomes is identified as: Increased efforts and involvement of women in conflict management, violence mitigation and SGBV prevention at local level. The key output under this is: Increased public awareness on GBV issues at all levels. Under this are a set of activities which include: 

  • Conduct a research on people’s attitudes on spousal violence, SGBV and on the role of women in conflict management at the local level

  • Organize community meetings targeting GBVand related instruments; Air programs on national and community radio stations and TVon GBVand related instruments

  • Train local duty bearers on GBV data collection, analysis and reporting process; conduct sensitization campaigns on the advantages of effective GBV reporting; Conduct air radio programs on GBV reporting process and advantages

  • Compile and analyze cases of GBV prosecuted to draw relevant lessons for a better response; Train a pool of lawyers, prosecutors and judges on GBV law and policy; Educate the population (community meetings and media programs)on the legal consequences of committing GBV

  • Air radio programs on the various forms of GBV, their impact and the role expected from each community member to effectively prevent GBV

  • Organize specific sensitization campaigns for boys and men to encourage them to actively participate in community anti-GBV structures, including Umugoroba w‟Ababyey

  • Sensitize boys and men to join the HeForShe campaign to promote positive masculinity

This second generation NAP is scheduled for implementation between 2018-2022 through various ministries and local and national levels.
Unlike the previous Rwandan NAP, which covered the period 2009-2012, where a set of timeframes for specific activities were included in the budget, and was generally one of the most detailed budgets in terms of national action plans, this current NAP does not provide a budget (or a mention of it) within the plan.

An indicator is given for each activity in the NAP. For example, under Pillar II - "Prevention of Violence against Women and Involvement in Conflict Prevention” - the following indicators are given:

  • Number of women leaders trained and participating in building peace and security

  • The number of women in decision making organs is increased

  • Databank on women with experience in peace and security areas is available

  • The number of women who have been recruited or appointed to in peace and security positions

  • Number of women who have been trained in peace and security and the quality of that training

  • Number of infrastructures adapted to women’s conditions

  • A permanent framework of dialogue between grassroots women’s’ leaders for operational

  • Number of peace and security forums organized

  • Types of conflict prevention and conflict management partnerships formed

  • Number training participants and sessions for CNF and training manual

Monitoring & Evaluation

Yearly action plans are to be developed, monitored and reported on in relation to the NAP’s five pillars. The NAP also indicates a comprehensive M&E framework elaborated by National Technical Working Groups (TWGs) with clear indicators and milestones against which progress will be assessed. Regular monitoring will also enable stakeholders to update, improve and adapt the action plans as contexts change. The Ministry of Gender and Family Protection (MIGEPROF) is responsible for collating reports, and once data is collated, Friends of 1325 Group will meet on a quarterly basis to analyze progress against the set targets. The TWG are to meet once every quarter to discuss progress, challenges and bottlenecks, and suggest timely corrective measures based on RNAP progress reports. The Gender Monitoring Office, which is a member of the national gender machinery, is responsible for monitoring the implementation of international and regional commitments and will oversee review of progress against the stated pillar objectives. The government also plans to produce independent progress reports two years after the adoption of the RNAP and at the end of Plan timeline. 

The Rwandan NAP does not mention disarmament in any of its activities or scope for implementation.