Gender inequality continues to persist in different competitive sectors and positions, with the blame pinned on the cultural norms, which bar women and girls from accessing resources and relevant skills to be productive in employment.
According to a recently released report by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, social norms, stereotypes and old-school mind sets especially at the family level are still blocking women from accessing information on sexual reproductive health particularly for the youth, and fostering low participation in the private sector among others.
On access to employment and productive jobs among men and women, the report puts the gap at 18 per cent with women’s participation at 44.4 per cent against 62.5 per cent for men.
“Males dominate the labour force due to having sufficient resources and relevant skills to engage in productive employment as opposed to women,” reads the report conducted by the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) and released on March 29.
For instance, the report said that by 2018, out of 180 heads of public institutions only 20 per cent are women, while states ministers and permanent secretaries in ministries are men at 72 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.
In addition, despite more women working in the health and social work sector by 53 per cent against 47 per cent of men, all other sectors are dominated by men.
For instance, men employed in the information and communication sector and public administration and defence are 74 per cent against 25 per cent of women.
Men are still getting 74.5 per cent of all loans in the agriculture sector, which currently employs more than 60 per cent of Rwandans. According to the report, there is a need to come up with special measures to promote job creation among the youth, especially women entrepreneurs.
Last year in December, Rwanda appointed a gender-balanced Cabinet with women making up 50 per cent of the posts along with high representation in parliament made up of 61 per cent female members.
“The 30 per cent minimum female representation requirement set in the constitution is being met, but when it comes to competitive positions, we still see gender gaps that need to be addressed,” said Alfred Bizoza, the director of IPAR.
“Educating and nurturing gender equality and equity among adults is challenging. That’s why our collaborative campaigns will focus on the lower classes,” said Soline Nyirahabimana, Minister of Gender and Family Promotion.
The report calls for an increase in women participation and profitability in economic activities.