Gender Equality in Rwanda

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Rwanda
flag_Rwanda.png
Flag of Rwanda
Population (in Mil.) 11.46
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 7.10
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
INDICES
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

Contents

In the News

Social Institutions

Formerly a Belgian colony, Rwanda became independent in 1962.[1] Rwanda’s recent history is dominated by the 1994 genocide and subsequent civil conflict, during which an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus are thought to have been killed by Hutus.[2] Rape and other forms of sexual violence were widespread during the genocide. Prosecution of those involved is ongoing, at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and in traditional gacaca courts.[3] The country’s economy is centred on tea and coffee production, although tourism is a growth industry.[4] Rwanda is classed as a low income country by the World Bank.[5] The 2003 Constitution of Rwanda prohibits gender-based discrimination, but women in the country continue to face social inequalities.[6] The 1992 Family Code improved the legal position of women in regard to marriage, divorce and child custody.[7] In September 2008, Rwanda became the first country to have more female members of Parliament (56 %) than male.[8] Since the Rwandan genocide in 1994, women have come to play a more important role in the formal sector although the majority of Rwandan women still work in subsistence farming. Approximately one-third of Rwandan women now head their households.[9] Rwanda ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981, and the Optional Protocol in 2008.[10] Rwanda was one of the first countries to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa in 2004.[11] Rwanda was ranked in 166th place in the 2011 Human Development Index, with a score of 0.429.[12] The country’s ranking in the 2011 Gender Inequality Index is 82nd (out of 146 countries), with a score of 0.453.[13] Rwanda was not ranked in the 2011 Global Gender Gap Index.[14]

Discriminatory Family Code

The legal minimum age for civil marriage for women and men in Rwanda is 21, and any marriage conducted before both parties have turned 21 is legally deemed to be a forced marriage (making the older spouse liable for prosecution).[15] However, according to data from the 2005 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), the average age of first marriages is 20.7 years.[16]This may reflect that fact that many marriages are not officially registered. Early marriage occurs in Rwanda, but statistics indicate that its incidence has decreased in recent years: a 2004 United Nations report estimated that 7 % of girls between 15 and 19 years of age were married, divorced or widowed, although the 2005 Demographic and Health Survey estimate, at 2.9 %, is much lower.[17] Polygamy was outlawed in 2009, but prior to this in 2005, 12 % of women reported being in a polygamous union; there is little difference in its prevalence between rural and urban areas.[18] Women in unregistered polygamous unions are less likely to benefit from laws equalizing property rights since these apply only to women with valid marriage registrations.[19] Under the 1988 Family Code, both spouses are deemed to have responsibility to rear and maintain their children; however, elsewhere, the code names the father as the head of the ‘conjugal community’, comprising the husband, wife, and their children.[20] In addition, in cases where a couple are in dispute regarding parental authority, it is the father’s will that prevails.[21] The Family Code also states that women and men have the same rights to petition for divorce, and to have ongoing equal rights and responsibilities in regard to any children.[22] Since the genocide, women have acquired a significantly more important role in the family. Increasingly, women and men make joint decisions about their children and general household matters.[23] In the matter of inheritance, the 1999 Inheritance and Marital Property Law guarantees equal rights for female and male spouses and children to inherit property.[24] According to the inheritance law, a surviving spouse married under the community of property marriage regime inherits all property. If the surviving spouse remarries they keep half of the original inherited property with the other half shared equally among the deceased’s children. If a spouse remarries with children from a deceased partner, they retain one quarter of property in full ownership and three-quarters is administered for the children.[25] It is not clear whether this law applies to inheritance on ancestral land.[26] Despite the law, a major problem is that the law only applies to registered legal marriages and excludes polygamous marriages. Most marriages in Rwanda are not registered and as such, women, particularly co-wives in polygamous marriages, do not enjoy their inheritance rights in practice.[27] In 2005, 59.96 % of widows inherited the majority of assets after their spouses.[28]

Restricted Physical Integrity

Rwanda has recently strengthened its laws protecting women’s physical integrity. Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offence in Rwanda, with sentences of 5 – 10 years, or the death penalty, if the attack results in the victim’s death.[29] According to the US Department of State’s 2010 human rights report, the government of Rwanda handles rape cases as a priority within its judicial system; 239 cases were tried in 2010.[30] There have been cases in the past of rapists receiving sentences of 20 to 30 years in prison.[31] In April 2009 Rwanda promulgated the Law on the Prevention, Protection, and Punishment of Any Gender-Based Violence, the country’s first comprehensive legislation on violence against women. This bill addresses spousal violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of children in its definition of gender-based violence, and lists the occurrence of such violence as grounds for divorce.[32] The law recommends imprisonment of six months up to two years for these crimes. Additionally, a broad support network has been set up; each police station in the nation has a gender desk, officer trained in gender-sensitivity, and public outreach program.[33] This law is a result of a legislative process that began in 2003 to combat a pervasive problem. According to the US Department of State, between January and June 2010, police investigated 1,572 cases of gender-based violence.[34]

According to the 2005 DHS, almost 31 % of women reported having experienced violence, and more than 19 % of women had experience some form of violence in the previous 12 months.[35] Of those who had ever experienced violence, the husband or ex-husband was a perpetrator in more than 66 % of the cases.[36] Often domestic violence is dealt with within the extended family, according to the US Department of State rather than being referred to the police or other agencies,[37] effectively denying women access to external support, and justice. Further, nearly 13 % of women reported experiencing some form of sexual violence.[38] Women are often unwilling to report sexual assaults, due to shame and taboos regarding discussion of anything to do with sex.[39] The problem of sexual violence was severely aggravated during the Rwandan genocide, during which many women, children, and men were subjected to acts of sexual violence.[40] During sentencing at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1998, rape was likened to an act of genocide,[41] and rape was used as a means of inflicting pain and humiliation on victims.[42] Soldiers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army were responsible for serious human rights violations throughout the conflict with the Ugandan Army in Kisangani in 2000, a period marked by a very high incidence of rape. Many women were also buried alive.[43] Rwandan soldiers and rebels have also been implicated in sexual violence in the ongoing conflict in the Eastern Congo region bordering Rwanda.[44]

There is no evidence to suggest that female genital mutilation is practised in Rwanda.[45]

Abortion is legal in Rwanda in cases where the woman’s mental or physical health is in danger.[46]

Levels of contraceptive knowledge and use in Rwanda have experienced a dramatic rise in the last five years. The 2005 DHS found that while 97.5 of married women had knowledge of a modern method of contraception, just 23.7 % had ever used one, and only 10 % were current users.[47] However, the interim 2007-08 DHS found a sharp increase in use; 43.6 % of married women had used a modern method, and that 27.4 were current users.[48] This increase is largely driven by high usage rates among higher-income women and women living in urban environments.[49] Further, DHS also found that more than 71 % of all women who were not using at the time of the survey intended to use contraception as a method of family planning in the future. Among the 26 % who did not intend to use, 72 % reported fertility problems precluded their use of contraception.[50]

Son Bias

According to DHS data for 2005, 75.4% of girls and 75% of boys had received their basic vaccinations before their second birthday.[51] Rates of malnutrition were found to be higher in boys under five than girls, as were rates of under-five mortality.[52] A 2011 investigation into child labour in Rwanda found that girls aged 7-15 spent more time on household chores than boys (although the difference was not significant).[53] However, the same report concluded that boys were more likely to exclusively be engaged in economic labour (i.e. not attending school as well), whereas girls were more likely to exclusively be attending school.[54] But these results did not extend to household chores, where girls are more likely to be involved.[55] Of women aged 20-24 interviewed for the 2005 DHS survey, 17.5% had received no education at all, compared to 12.8% of men.[56] In the same age bracket, secondary school completion rates for women were 10.2%, compared to 12,2% of men. This would indicate some preference towards sons in regard to access to education. The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2012 is 0.99.[57]

There is no evidence to suggest that Rwanda is a country of concern in relation to missing women.

Restricted Resources and Entitlements

Where the 1999 Inheritance Law established legal rights for the inheritance of land and other property, the 2005 Organic Land Law formally abolished customary law where it governed land rights.[58] The 2005 Law also encourages long tenure security through long-term (99 year) leases and land registration, and is actively encouraging joint titling of land. Women are involved in the coordination and registration process.[59] But despite gaining a certain level of independence and legal protection since the genocide, women still face difficulties accessing private property.[60] A 2010 qualitative study by the Rwanda Women Network and Makerere Institute of Social Research found women’s legal rights to land are undermined by undermined on the continuation of discriminatory practices, which are prejudicial to women and due to the negative attitudes towards women’s land rights in Rwanda.[61] Women in Rwanda do not appear to face any legal restrictions in accessing credit, but in practice, have very limited access to bank loans.[62] Government-sponsored micro-credit mechanisms have improved their access to financial resources.[63]

Restricted Civil Liberties

Married women face some restrictions in regard to choosing where they wish to live, as they are legally required to live in the same house as their husband.[64] According to the 2007 CEDAW report, there are no other legal restrictions on women’s freedom of movement in Rwanda.[65] Freedom of speech, assembly and association are not respected in Rwanda.[66] Women’s rights NGOs appear to be active in provide support to women victims of violence, and in other areas, but face the same restrictions as other civil society groups in regard to onerous registration procedures, and pressure not to criticise the government.[67] Women and men have the same rights to vote in and stand for election in Rwanda.[68] In 2008, Rwanda became the first nation in history to have more women members in a national parliament than men. As a result of the elections of September 2008, there are 45 women in the 80-seat Chamber of Deputies, a percentage well-above the 30 % quota established by law, and 9 women in the 25-seat Senate. Women also hold 9 ministerial positions, representing 36 % of the Cabinet.[69] Public opinion on women politicians is evenly divided; according to a 2007 World Values Survey, 51 % think that men make better political leaders than women do, versus 48 % who disagree with that statement.[70] Pregnant women’s right to maternity leave was eroded after the government passed a law in May 2009 that reduced full-pay maternity leave from twelve weeks to six weeks at full pay followed by an optional six weeks at 20 % of pay.[71] What benefits a woman receives are paid for by her employer.[72] According to the 2005 DHS, 85.5 % of women employed in the 12 months preceding the survey were employed in agriculture.[73] Of these women, 64.2% received no wages of any kind.[74] Over 88% of employed Rwandan women are either self-employed or working for a family member.[75]

References

  1. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2010) World Factbook: Rwanda, online edition, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rw.html (accessed 10 November 2011)
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  5. World Bank (n.d.) ‘Data: Rwanda’, Washington, D.C., World Bank, http://data.worldbank.org/country/rwanda (accessed 10 November 2011)
  6. Articles 11 and 33 of the Constitution of Rwanda, adopted May 2003 in CRC (2004), p. 6.
  7. United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (2003), Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective: Violence Against Women, E/CN.4/2003/75/Add.1, UN, New York, NY., p. 93.
  8. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC.
  9. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USATable 2.2.
  10. United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC) (2011): Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, countries ratified. - CEDAW: http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8&chapter=4&lang=en (accessed 9 November 2011) Optional Protocol: http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8-b&chapter=4&lang=en (accessed 9 November 2011)
  11. African Union (2010) ‘List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa’ (as of 27 August 2010). http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf
  12. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012.p.129
  13. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012.p.141
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  17. United Nations (UN) (2004), World Fertility Report 2003, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York, NY., p. 290; USAID (2003) Demographic and Health Survey
  18. Article 57 of the Law on the Prevention, Protection, and Punishment of Any Gender-Based Violence, Law No. 59/2008, enacted 10 September 2008 in The Institute for Inclusive Security (ISS) (2008); MINISANTÉ, INSR and ICF Macro,(2009), Table 3.5.
  19. African Development Bank Group (2008), Rwanda Gender Assessment: Progress Towards Improving Women’s Economic Status , pp. 8, 21; Verma, R. (2007), pp. 27-28,
  20. Law n°42/1988 of 27 October 1988 constituting the Preliminary Title and the First Book of the Civil Code (the Family Code) articles 197 and 206, in Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, , p.64
  21. Family Code, article 206, in Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, p.64
  22. Family Code, article 237, in Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6,
  23. Nyirankundabera, J. (2002), Gender Sensitive Programme Design and Planning in Conflict-Affected Situations, ACORD (Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development), Nairobi, www.acord.org.uk/Publications/G&CResearch/annex6rwandaeng.pdf., p. 8-12.
  24. CEDAW (2010), p.33
  25. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2011) Widowhood and asset inheritance in sub-Saharan Africa: empirical evidence from 15 countries, available at http://www.chronicpoverty.org/uploads/publication_files/WP183%20Peterman.pdf, accessed 7 March 2012.
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  27. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2011) Widowhood and asset inheritance in sub-Saharan Africa: empirical evidence from 15 countries, available at http://www.chronicpoverty.org/uploads/publication_files/WP183%20Peterman.pdf, accessed 7 March 2012.
  28. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2011) Widowhood and asset inheritance in sub-Saharan Africa: empirical evidence from 15 countries, available at http://www.chronicpoverty.org/uploads/publication_files/WP183%20Peterman.pdf, accessed 7 March 2012, p.20
  29. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, , p.41
  30. US Department of State (2011), 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154364.htm (accessed 10 November 2011
  31. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC
  32. Institute For Inclusive Security (ISS) (2008), Demonstrating Legislative Leadership: The Introduction Of Rwanda’s Gender-Based Violence Bill, ISS: WASHINGTON, DC, USA., pp. 24-25.
  33. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC.
  34. US Department of State (2011), 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154364.htm (accessed 10 November 2011
  35. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USA. ,, Table 13.5.
  36. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USA. ,, Table 13.2.
  37. US Department of State (2011), 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154364.htm (accessed 10 November 2011
  38. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USA. ,, Table 13.5.
  39. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6 p.42
  40. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, p.65
  41. African Development Bank Group (2008), Rwanda Gender Assessment: Progress Towards Improving Women’s Economic Status , p. 3; Nyirankundabera, (2002), p. 9; United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (2003), Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective: Violence Against Women, E/CN.4/2003/75/Add.1, UN, New York, NY., pp. 93-94; US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC..
  42. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, p.40
  43. United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (2003), Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective: Violence Against Women, E/CN.4/2003/75/Add.1, UN, New York, NY., p. 94.
  44. United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (2003), Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective: Violence Against Women, E/CN.4/2003/75/Add.1, UN, New York, NY., p. 44.
  45. IPU (n.d.) ‘Parliamentary Campaign ‘Stop Violence Against Women!’: Female Genital Mutilation, Legislation and other National Provisions’, Geneva: IPU, http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/fgm-prov-p.htm (accessed 10 November 2011)
  46. UN (2011) ‘World Abortion Policies 2011’, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2011abortion/2011wallchart.pdf
  47. INstitut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) And Orc Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic And Health Survey 2005, Insr And Orc Macro: Calverton, Maryland, Usa. , Tables 5.1.1 5.2, and 5.3.
  48. Ministère De La Santé (Minisanté), Institut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) Et Icf Macro, (2009). Enquête Intermédiaire Sur Les Indicateurs Démographiques Et De Santé, Rwanda 2007-2008, Minisanté, Insr, Et Macro Icf: Calverton, Maryland, U.S.A, Tables 5.3.1 and 5.4.
  49. Ministère De La Santé (Minisanté), Institut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) Et Icf Macro, (2009). Enquête Intermédiaire Sur Les Indicateurs Démographiques Et De Santé, Rwanda 2007-2008, Minisanté, Insr, Et Macro Icf: Calverton, Maryland, U.S.A, Table 5.5.
  50. Ministère De La Santé (Minisanté), Institut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) Et Icf Macro, (2009). Enquête Intermédiaire Sur Les Indicateurs Démographiques Et De Santé, Rwanda 2007-2008, Minisanté, Insr, Et Macro Icf: Calverton, Maryland, U.S.A, Table 5.7.
  51. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USA. , table 8.10
  52. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USA. , tables 10.12, 11.3
  53. Understanding Children’s Work Programme (UCW) (2011) ‘Understanding children’s work and youth employment outcomes in Rwanda, Country report, June 2011’, ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank Group, Kigali: United Nations Rwanda. , Fig. 20 (p.34)
  54. Understanding Children’s Work Programme (UCW) (2011) ‘Understanding children’s work and youth employment outcomes in Rwanda, Country report, June 2011’, ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank Group, Kigali: United Nations Rwanda. , p.48
  55. Understanding Children’s Work Programme (UCW) (2011) ‘Understanding children’s work and youth employment outcomes in Rwanda, Country report, June 2011’, ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank Group, Kigali: United Nations Rwanda, p.48
  56. Institut National de la Statistique du Rwanda (INSR) and ORC Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005, INSR and ORC Macro: Calverton, Maryland, USA. , tables 3.3.1 and 3.3.2
  57. Central Intelligence Agency (2012) The World Fact Book: Sex Ratio, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html, accessed 9 March 2012.
  58. Verma, R. (2007), ‘Without Land You Are Nobody’: Critical Dimensions of Women’s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa, International Development Research Centre: Nairobi, Kenya, accessed 25 March 2010. Available at: http://www.landcoalition.org/?page_id=1419., p. 24; Law No. 08/2005, The Organic Land Law
  59. African Development Bank Group (2008), Rwanda Gender Assessment: Progress Towards Improving Women’s Economic Status , pp. 20-21.
  60. World Bank (2010), Women, Business, and the Law: Measuring Legal Gender Parity for Entrepreneurs and Workers in 128 Economies, p. 148.
  61. Rwanda Women Network (2011) Women’s land rights gains in Rwanda are eroded by cultural practices and negative attitude: Policy briefing, May 2011, available at http://www.landcoalition.org/sites/default/files/publication/1159/RWN%20Policy%20Brief%2027%201
  62. Office for Women in Development (WIDTech) (2002), Gender Assessment and Action Plan for USAID/Rwanda, International Center for Research on Women, Washington, DC., p. 2; World Bank (2010), Women, Business, and the Law: Measuring Legal Gender Parity for Entrepreneurs and Workers in 128 Economies, p. 148; Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, , p.36
  63. Office for Women in Development (WIDTech) (2002), Gender Assessment and Action Plan for USAID/Rwanda, International Center for Research on Women, Washington, DC., p. 2; World Bank (2010), Women, Business, and the Law: Measuring Legal Gender Parity for Entrepreneurs and Workers in 128 Economies, p. 148;, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, p.36
  64. Article 83, Family Code in Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, ip.63
  65. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, , p.13
  66. Freedom House (2010) Freedom in the World Country Reports: Rwanda, online edition, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2010&country=7905 (accessed 10 November 2011)
  67. Freedom House (2010) Freedom in the World Country Reports: Rwanda, online edition, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2010&country=7905 (accessed 10 November 2011). See also Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6,
  68. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2007) ‘Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of States parties Rwanda’, CEDAW/C/RWA/6, , p.43
  69. Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (2010), Women in Parliament: All Countries on National Parliaments, IPU: Geneva, http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm., US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC.
  70. World Values Survey (WVS) (2007), Selected Country/Sample: Rwanda, World Values Survey, available http://worldvaluessurvey.org, accessed 25 March 2010., Question V61.
  71. The Labour Act, Act No. 13/2009, enacted 27 May 2009 in US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC..
  72. International Labour Organization (ILO) (2009), Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws, ILO: Geneva, Switzerland, accessed 25 March 2010.
  73. Institut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) And Orc Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic And Health Survey 2005, Insr And Orc Macro: Calverton, Maryland, Usa. , Table 3.7.1.
  74. Institut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) And Orc Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic And Health Survey 2005, Insr And Orc Macro: Calverton, Maryland, Usa. , Table 3.8.
  75. Institut National De La Statistique Du Rwanda (Insr) And Orc Macro (2006), Rwanda Demographic And Health Survey 2005, Insr And Orc Macro: Calverton, Maryland, Usa. Table 3.9.

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]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 UNDP. (2010). UNDP - Rwanda. Retrieved Nov 21, 2010, from UNDP: http://www.undp.org.rw/MDGs3.html
  2. The United Nations. (2007, November 1). MDG Monitor: Success Story. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from MDG Monitor: http://www.mdgmonitor.org/story.cfm?goal=3

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
page.

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