8 March 2012

Rwanda: Women's Day Taken to the Grassroots

Photo: http://www.un.org
Women from all over Côte d'Ivoire gather to celebrate International Women's Day.

'Empowering Women and Girls to Sustain Families' is the national theme for this year's International Women's Day.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloisea Inyumba, stated that the whole month will be dedicated to addressing challenges still hampering women.

"We shall, therefore, focus on four key areas in the coming four weeks, which include, promoting women's health and fighting malnutrition, economic empowerment of women, promoting girls' education, women and good governance," Inyumba said.

She also noted that the activities will be carried out at the village level with the involvement of all local leaders.

The minister pointed out the importance of family dialogue in solving challenges faced by women, saying families should always set time aside to discuss the challenges they are facing and how to overcome them.

She also said that good practices and home grown solutions will be ascertained through spending time discussing the issues at hand.

Inyumba noted the 'Akagoroba K'ababyeyi' (An evening of mothers) programme would involve parents in a community getting together a few evenings to discuss challenges in their homes and the possible solutions.

She noted that women are the major beneficiaries in most of community-based development programmes in place such as Ubudehe and VUP, among others, which have empowered them.

"We have even made a commitment in Imihigo (Performance Based Contracts) that we signed with the Prime Minister, to improve the economic security of women through a number of activities," Inyumba said.

The minister added that some of the activities will include encouraging women to join cooperatives, credit and saving schemes (Saccos) and to undertake other income generating projects.

Among the issues raised was the six weeks' maternity leave that is offered to women, which is seen as inadequate The minister noted that the issue is still under discussion and an agreement will be reached.

The First Lady, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, will officiate at the national celebrations that will take place in Kayonza District, where she will also launch the 'Women and Girls' Month' campaign.

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