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Region:Asia Pacific Current UN Women Plan Period Afghanisthan:2018-2022
i-icon World Bank Income Classification:Low Income The World Bank classifies economies for analytical purposes into four income groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high income. For this purpose it uses gross national income (GNI) per capita data in U.S. dollars, converted from local currency using the World Bank Atlas method, which is applied to smooth exchange rate fluctuations. i-icon Least Developed Country:Yes Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized LDCs as a category of States that are deemed highly disadvantaged in their development process, for structural, historical and also geographical reasons. Three criteria are used: per capita income, human assets, and economic vulnerability. i-icon Gender Inequality Index:0.575 GII is a composite metric of gender inequality using three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labour market. A low GII value indicates low inequality between women and men, and vice-versa. i-icon Gender Development Index:0.723 GDI measures gender inequalities in achievement in three basic dimensions of human development: health, education, and command over economic resources.
i-icon Population:209,497,025 Source of population data: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2022). World Population Prospects: The 2022 Revision Male:19,976,265 (9.5%) Female:189,520,760 (90.5%)
Map Summary

outcome XM-DAC-41146-RWA_D_1.1

A diverse cohort of women leaders is formed to lead in governance at local and national level

As a result of UN Women’s advocacy, awareness campaigns, skills enhancement, a diverse cohort of young women are better equipped, informed and encouraged to exercise leadership roles. Additionally, women's leadership and participation in decision making organs is promoted through the convening power of networks such as the Rwanda Women Leaders Network (RWLN) Summit held under the theme "Building the Next Generation of Women Leaders" was convened by the Ministry of Gender and Family promotion in collaboration with UN Women. The summit brought together 250 diverse cohort of women leaders from various sectors and backgrounds including high level government officials, representatives of institutions, women leaders from across generations, students, private sector and civil society. The summit strengthened women and girls’ connection, mutual support among women leaders and reinforced their influence at different levels. As such, the summit enhanced women’s vertical and horizontal peer learning and promoted mentoring of the next generation of women leaders. This also provided an opportunity to discuss ways in which they can fully exploit their potential, how to nurture young women and girls’ leadership and how to give back to the community by those already in leadership positions through mentorship, coaching etc. Link: First Lady launches African Women Leaders Network Rwanda Chapter - The New Times Negative gender stereotypes and harmful social norms continue to be the major underlying causes that create inequalities and hold back women in Rwanda from achieving their potential despite the strong policy, legal and institutional environment. This has resulted in and exacerbated vulnerabilities of girls and young women especially those living with HIV and hindering their empowerment, perpetuating HIV-related stigma and leading to limited access to quality and differentiated health services. HIV related stigma also hamper girls, young women, and teen mothers’ capacities to speak out about gender-based violence and reluctant to seek justice. In an effort to tackle negative social norms that hinder women's participation in leadership positions, UN Women in partnership with Rwanda Network of People Living with HIV(RRP+) continued to support adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in leadership, advocacy, and social media management to claim their rights to access quality and reliable health services. 30 adolescent girls and young women whose capacities and skills in leadership, public speaking, advocacy, and social media management were strengthened, received coaching to further enhance their skills. The girls and young women continued to develop and produce content using various platforms on issues such as gender inequalities in HIV prevention and response thereby reshaping perceptions to eliminate discrimination and stigma towards people living with HIV. Link: Social Media, A New Approach to Promote Rights for Women And Girls Living With HIV In Rwanda
outcome XM-DAC-41146-RWA_D_1.2

Women are perceived as equally legitimate and effective leaders as men throughout all spheres of society

The road to gender parity is on track which is evident by the increasing number of women actively participating at higher levels of leadership and changing perceptions on their legitimacy as effective leaders in society. In the 2016 elections, 16.1% of men and 83.9% of women were elected Council Secretary. In 2023, 22% of men and 78% of women are elected Council Secretary. In 2016, 80,6% of men vs 19.4% of women were elected Mayors and in 2023, 70% of men and 30% of women are mayors respectively. UN Women Rwanda is contributing towards ensuring that women are perceived as equally legitimate and effective leaders as men in all spheres of society by addressing the burden of unpaid care work (UCW) on women. On average women in Rwanda spends 7.1 hours per day working on unpaid care work compared to 2.1 hours for men indicating that women and girls carry a heavier burden than their male counterparts. As such, UN Women and Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) convened a high-level consultative workshop on unpaid care work that gathered key actors in the area of care to discuss common approaches to recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work. As a result, a sub-technical working group on care was established under the leadership of the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion/Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment cluster that recommended to Develop KPI’s of GEWE/UCW at key relevant sectors and track the progress, have Unpaid Care Work topic included in the 2024 national retreat and national dialogue (Umushyikirano) agenda; partner with the Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy to promote positive values and sustain positive cultural norms; ensure integration of 5R interventions in the second generation of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST2), District Development Strategies (DDS) and Performance Contracts (IMIHIGO) that implement government commitments through NST; commitment to have household-level Performance Contracts (IMIHIGO) integrate family commitments related to Unpaid Care Work (UCW) and promotion of peer-learning/ exchange visits among provinces and districts focusing on GEWE.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-RWA_D_1.3

Implementation of gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments strengthened at national and local levels

UN Women has been contributing to the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) through mainstreaming some of its key sectors through evidence-based decision making. It is increasingly investing both financial and technical to promote gender mainstreaming and gender accountability and guide stakeholders to assess the current status and set realistic targets. The CO supported the National Gender Machinery in the development of the Gender Mainstreaming and Accountability Minimum Standards (GMASs). The GMASs provides an essential framework that will guide all gender mainstreaming and accountability efforts across the country and ensure effective integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment across sectors contributing to the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1). In addition, the Ministry, in collaboration with its partners and with UN Women support developed the 3rd generation of the National Action Plan (NAP) 2023-2027 for the UNSCR 1325. Furthermore, a second generation of the Country Gender Status Report ‘The State of Gender Equality in Rwanda: Ensuring Gender Equality Gains from Sustainable Transformation’, was produced with UN Women support of UNWOMEN. This report on the status of gender equality in Rwanda traces the levels parity that exists in different circumstances as guided by the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) pillars: economic, social and governance transformation. It highlights the fundamental issues, challenges and opportunities facing the men and women as they shape their livelihood strategies in Rwanda while also proposing programmatic interventions that can be instrumental in informing interventions to reduce the gender equality gaps. UN Women continued to support the functioning of the National Coordination Mechanism on Gender through the National Gender and Family Cluster (NGFC) by ensuring efficient coordination and strengthening the technical capacity of its secretariat so as to effectively deliver on national and global gender equality commitments as well as to utilize partner efforts to improve gender-related interventions. As such, the different Sub-clusters under the NGFC including Family Promotion and GBV Prevention sub-cluster, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and Child Development were strengthened to address pertinent issues and plan key interventions related to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The stakeholders under these sub-clusters include Government institutions, Development partners, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations. Furthermore, policy advice, programming and informed advocacy were strengthened through the availed and updated gender data that were produced by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda with technical support of UN Women. Rwanda has achieved a ground-breaking milestone with the use of digital technology to conduct the 5th Population and Housing Census survey reducing the analysis period from 2 years to 6 months. The successful implementation of the 5th Rwanda Population and Housing Census, the first-ever digital census in Rwanda, demonstrates the country's commitment to harnessing technology to improve data accuracy and efficiency. As a result of UN Women technical support through the One UN Joint programme on Data, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) Gender-disaggregated data has been strengthened, enabling policymakers to develop gender-sensitive policies and programs. In addition, the gender data from the 5th Population and Housing Census 2022 informed Rwanda’s second voluntary national review (VNR) report on SDGs implementation which was presented to the UN in July 2023.The data will inform the development of the next generation National Strategy for Transformation (NST2) and development partner's strategies including, United National Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF, 2024-2031) and UN Women Strategic Note 2025-2029. UN Women initiated the collective process, bringing together isolated interventions by some DPs and contributing to the gender policy brief “Strengthening Gender Accountability in Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation”. The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), as the institution that plays the major role of coordinating policy implementation, monitoring GEWE, led this process and submitted the policy brief to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) which oversees the work of the development partners and is in charge of the country’s development agenda. The policy brief encapsulates key issues and challenges pertaining to gender equality and women’s empowerment in Rwanda and proposes key gender related priorities and outcomes to be integrated in the next generation of NST in order to accelerate and scale GEWE interventions at sustainable paces. Furthermore, the brief also serves a basis for the stakeholders’ engagement process through consultations in order to gain their insights and capitalize on their existing GEWE knowledge, expertise and experiences to enable formulation of most relevant and agreeable priority areas to be considered for integration in development of the next NST.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-RWA_D_2.1

New opportunities are unlocked for women to benefit from Rwanda’s expanding private sector markets

UN Women has contributed to improve the skills and access to finance and unlocking new opportunities for women to benefit from private sector markets. Women are overrepresented in the agriculture sector which performed rather well during the pandemic and in the less resilient informal sector where 91.2% of women are present. In the formal sector, the unemployment rate has increased since the COVID-19 crisis, with a lower female labour force participation recorded. To address this, UN Women Rwanda continued to increase women’s livelihood skills and access to markets and paid work. In 2023: 100 water Tanks were provided to households of women with disabilities in Rubavu District-Kanama Sector to address unequal access to time-saving, climate-resilient infrastructure technology which remains a considerable impediment to women’s economic empowerment in Rwanda 34 female sex workers, 43 teen moms and 67 vulnerable women who were enrolled in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) specialising in hairdressing and tailoring. 50 girls participated in the 1st national coding camp through African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI) to bridge the gender digital gap. 40 young vulnerable women linked to employment opportunities. Agriculture is a major employer of women in Rwanda and is an important source of livelihood for women leading to systematic benefits not just for women, but for families and society as a whole in reducing hunger, increasing incomes, and strengthening the resilience of rural communities, and contributing to country economic growth. UN Women recognizes the importance of its strategic partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) towards closing existing gender gaps in accessing agricultural assets, inputs and services and how this can contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment. UN Women Rwanda Country Office therefore joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and other stakeholders to organize three-day multi-stakeholders’ knowledge sharing seminar in line with the development of the new edition of the agriculture strategy (PSTA5), to be launched and implemented for a six-year period, from June 2024 through to 2030. UN Women contributed to different sessions and high-level panel discussion on “PSTA5: Building Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems” highlighting the critical role of women and gender equality in the agriculture sector in Rwanda in enhancing women’s well-being and the well-being of their households, creating opportunities for economic growth, greater incomes, productivity, and resilience. Thus, there is need to have reliable information on gender disaggregated data in Agri-value chains, intentional recognition and action to the critical role of women in agriculture as well as increasing access to resources for women to fully participate across the entire Agri-value chains in Rwanda. More gender responsive agri-food systems are required for better production, better nutrition, better environment, and better life for all, so that no one is left behind. The knowledge sharing seminar worked towards the development of its Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA 5) and supporting the policy process which will contribute to closing gaps in evidence and innovation to inform PSTA 5.The objective of PSTA 5 will be to position the agrifood sector as the key driver for achieving food sovereignty by building resilient, inclusive, and sustainable food systems in order to address key challenges including climate change, natural resource degradation, malnutrition and stunting, low yields, food losses and waste, and weak service provision for access to finance, markets and value addition, as well as a lack of investment in research, innovation, and development. PSTA 5 will also be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-RWA_D_2.3

Women farmers and cooperatives’ engagement in higher segments of the food and agricultural value chains is increased

The fifth Integrated Household Living Survey 2017 (EICV) shows that only 7 percent of female headed households had access to piped water into their dwelling compared to 10 percent of male headed households. In rural areas, people are required to walk long distances in order to reach an improved drinking water source, with 16 percent of households living within 0-200 meters and 34 percent living within 0-500 meters. UN Women provided 100 water Tanks and 360 energy cooking stoves that helps women to save up to 80% of energy normally used for cooking. Time-saving technology and equipment helped to reduce and redistribute the care burden and allowed for more productive dedicated time to income-generating activities. This intervention is in line with UN Women’s Transformative Approaches to Recognize, Reduce, and Redistribute Unpaid Care Work in Women Economic Empowerment Programming in Rwanda (3R Programme) in order to address the inequities in unpaid care. Women beneficiaries follow tools and guidelines on the use of timesaving and climate-resilient equipment that were developed by UN Women in partnership with INADES Formation Rwanda and provide guidance on how to properly maintain and sustain the time-saving technologies. Link
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