Rwanda has made remarkable strides in implementing the gender commitments made during the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDfA), a new Country Report has revealed.
A report that was recently published by the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) which is a government institution mandated to monitoring the Country's respect and implementation status of signed international gender related treaties has showed that in the last 5 years, more achievements have been registered in regards to advancing gender equality and women empowerment in different sectors.
The report which focuses on the 12 critical areas comes at the right time the world including Rwanda next year will be celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fourth World Conference on Women and the Adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action simultaneously with the 5 years of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs).
According to the Report, since 2014-2019 Rwanda has made commendable progress in promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in different socio-economic sectors. Women and girls have also been increasingly gaining control over productive resources to improve their economic status as well as access to education and health services.
More importantly, women's political participation has been significant and a key preoccupation for the inclusive socio-economic development. Furthermore, the report points out that gender commitments have been mainstreamed in various policies and strategic plans, legal instruments and institutions that support promotion of gender equality and elimination of discrimination against women and girls have been established. Similarly, Rwanda has embarked on integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its planning framework and tools, including those specific to achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls (SDG 5).
The report also found that Rwanda has deployed tremendous efforts and joined many others in the journey of ensuring equitable and gender responsive development and mainstreaming gender equality and empowering women and girls have since been part of strategic priorities in the different development frameworks, whose stand is maintained in the new National Strategy for Transformation (NST-1) to guide the government of Rwanda's commitments for national transformation that leaves on one behind.
12 critical areas of the Beijing Declaration
As prescribed under the 1995 Beijing Declaration, 12 critical areas are:
- Women and Poverty
- Education and Training of Women
- Women and Health
- Violence against Women
- Women and Armed conflict
- Women and the Economy
- Women in power and Decision making
- Institutional Mechanisms
- Humana Rights of Women
- Women and the Media
- Women and Environment
- The Girl Child
Rwanda has become a country with a stable, peaceful and an effective government after the devastating effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which destroyed the very fabric of the society, the country's economy as well as governance structures. To address the negative effects that resulted from the above tragedy, various interventions were progressively implemented to rebuild the nation, starting from the relief and transitional period towards a more stable, socially, and economically transformed country.
Rwanda committed to the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDfA), just one year after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The commitment to the implementation of the BDfA in such a challenging context appeared like a dream. Twenty-five years later, Rwanda managed to deliver on its commitments in promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and is ranked now as the 6th world wide by 2018 World Economic Forum global gender gap report.
Furthermore, the government of Rwanda has institutionalized gender equality and empowerment of women mechanisms including the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), the National Women's Council (NWC), and Forum for Women Parliamentarians (FFRP). These institutional mechanisms are to ensure policy formulation and coordination, mobilization and empowerment of women and accountability to gender equality. In a bid to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of child, both girls and boys, National Early Childhood Development Program (NECDP) has been established to complement the work being done by the national commission for children (NCC).