Despite the progress made in promoting women’s participation in the labour market and leadership, gaps exist in traditionally male-dominated fields.
“There are gaps in the entire energy sector, which has been characterised by policies and regulations that deny women the same opportunities as men,” said Patricie Uwase Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of infrastructure.
“The attitude of inspiring professional women to engage in energetic work has been missing, more especially in the energy sector, where they are subtly stereotyped as intruders into a male domain,” said Ms Uwase.
“To create a safe space for women to prosper in the energy sector, industry players must change their mindset of considering women incapable and integrate into the workplace.”
Speaking at the launch of Women in Rwanda Energy network, the PS said the network will be used to train women graduates and those still at the university pursuing engineering courses to equip them with necessary skills.
“It is obvious that most of the women in engineering sector prefer working in offices, not on the field,” she said, adding:
“Why can’t women in the energy sector in Rwanda climb the electric pole for electric installation or engage in the construction of hydropower plants?”
Claire Nelson, Power Africa Lead for Rwanda, said the programme was developed after it emerged that there were many challenges facing women in the energy sector to be resolved.
“There is no gender balance in the energy sector and this is what the network has come to resolve. About 95 per cent of women in the engineering sector are in administrative positions with quite a few in the technical department,” said Mr Nelson.