Private companies and public institutions share results on promoting gender accountability

Promoting gender equality and accountability in private companies has to be intentional and companies have to be deliberate in giving men and women equal opportunities both at work and through the services they provide.

The note was made at the breakfast meeting on promoting gender accountability held at Serena Hotel on Wednesday December 14, 2022. The meeting was attended by heads of companies that were certified for promoting gender accountability, PSF leaders and stakeholders involved in the programme of promoting gender equality and accountability in the private sector.

The meeting was organized to share results of promoting gender accountability, strategize on how to promote gender equality and accountability in PSF clusters, devise on how to sustain achieved gender results across in certified companies and disseminate best practices for replication and inspiration.

As shared by companies and public institutions implementing the gender equality seal certification programme, promoting gender equality and accountability in a company or any institution has to be intentional in order to sustained and tangible results.

"The most profitable sectors today in Rwanda including telecommunication and financial sectors are ones that have less women. So, as we talk about women economic empowerment, we have to be deliberate in giving opportunities in sectors that are profitable" said Soraya M. Hakuziyaremye, Deputy Governor at Rwanda's Central Bank (BNR).

However, the deputy governor added that much progress has so far been made which has to be sustained. "When you look at our own banking industry 6 years ago, we had 1 female bank CEO, but today we have 5 CEOs. We are not yet at the parity but the most important thing is we have examples that we can show our daughters and nieces that a woman can lead a Bank successfully".

For MTN Rwanda, the company has encouraged and supported to join managerial and decision-making positions and the company aims to achieve 50/50 male/female participation by the year 2030.

In the transport sector, RITCO Rwanda also doing well. Females are being engaged and supported to join the transport sector which is currently male dominated as it only has 9% females in Rwanda. In the mining sector, wolfram mining and processing company ltd has reached almost 30% female participation up from only 8% in 2020. This was attained due intentional internal mechanisms put in place for promotion of gender equality. Munyax Eco, a company providing access to clean and affordable energy solutions also applies positive discrimination during recruitment of staff to give opportunity to females to join energy sector, which is also a male dominated field with only 5% females in Rwanda.

The Chief Gender Monitor Rose Rwabuhihi commended the huge progress being made in regard to promoting gender accountability in the private sector which really proves that promoting gender equality in the private sector enhances businesses.

The chairperson of specialized cluster Mrs. Therese SEKAMANA said that the private sector is making effort to promote gender equality and bridge the gender gaps that have been prevailing in the sector. The strategies being implemented include strengthening capacity building on practical business skills and innovation for women, promoting access to finance and providing more exposure to women to access national, regional and international markets for their products and services.

The gender equality seal certification programme was launched in 2017 and is implemented by Gender Monitoring Office and the Private Sector Federation support of United Nations Development Programme and UN women.

The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Varsha Redkar Palepu said that UNDP is happy to partner with the Government of Rwanda and the Private Sector in promoting gender equality and accountability in the private sector which is a driver for Rwanda's sustainable development.

The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Prof. Jeannette Bayisenge congratulated the private sector for effort and achievements so far made in promoting gender equality and accountability which in turn contributes to making Rwanda one of top countries recognized for respect of gender equality globally.