Gender Equality in Rwanda

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Flag of Rwanda
Population (in Mil.) 11.46
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 7.22
Sex Ratio (m/f) 0.99
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.06557377
Fertility Rate 4.9
Estimated Earned Income (f/m)
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 5.5
Women in Parliament (in %) 63.8
Human Development Index 167/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index 28/86
Gender Inequality Index 167/186
Gender Equity Index 22/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index /128
Global Gender Gap Index /68
More information on variables

In the News

Social Institutions

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.

The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.

In the 2014 edition of the SIGI, Rwanda has medium levels of discrimination against women in social institutions. It has lower discrimination in son bias and higher discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets. Read the full country profile and access the data here:

Millennium Development Goal #3

Goal: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

"To eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015."[1]

In 2003, Rwanda conducted elections for the Presidency and the parliament had a referendum on a new constitution.  The new constitution guarantees a minimum of 30 percent of parliamentary seats and other leadership positions to women. Today, Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians in the world with women constituting nearly 50 percent in the Chamber of Deputies and about 35 percent in the Senate. The Government of Rwanda also has 34 percent of women in its Cabinet.  This is supported by the Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum. In February 2007, the Forum held an international conference to share its experiences and to forge partnerships with development allies in the area of nation building. Speakers at the conference agreed that women play a critical role in the development of nations and in the attainment of the MDGs.[2]

According to the UNDP's work on Rwanda, MDG #3 it has ranked the likeliness of the goal being achieved as "probable" and the state of the supportive environment around the goal as "strong". Furthermore, the UNDP reports that many indicators underline the progress that has been made in the field of gender equality as a result of the different policies that were implemented by the Rwandan government.

Within the education field, gender parity in literacy rate and gender enrolment parity at the primary level have been achieved.

Within the public/political arena, government set a target of 30% of women among the representatives of the parliament and among all decision-making levels. As a result, to date, Rwanda women hold 56% of the seats in Rwanda's Parliament, the highest percentage of women lawmakers in the world. Consequently, the number of women in politics and decision making sharply increased over the last decade.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 UNDP. (2010). UNDP - Rwanda. Retrieved Nov 21, 2010, from UNDP:
  2. The United Nations. (2007, November 1). MDG Monitor: Success Story. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from MDG Monitor:

The Women, Business and the Law

Where are laws equal for men and women? 

The Women, Business and the Law report presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women's economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court. Read more about the methodology.

For detailed information on Rwanda, please visit the Women, Business and
the Law Rwanda


External Links

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