Rwanda Launches HeforShe Campaign, targets 100,000 men in 2015
Rwanda has officially launched the HeForShe program, a global campaign that will see Rwandan men and boys engage as agents of change for the achievement global gender equality.
The launch, held at the parliamentary buildings this September 18, 2015 and was officiated by the President of the Rwandan Senate, Hon. Bernard Makuza, who also represented President Paul Kagame.
In his remarks, Makuza said that the role of women in development cannot be overlooked and that is why Rwanda has put up programs and policies to ensure that women play a significant role in development.
â€œWomen are 52% of Rwanda’s population. To undermine their development is to disrupt the country’s developmentâ€ he said.
Quoting president Paul Kagame, Makuza said â€œWomen and girls are our mothers and sisters, why should we debate on having their deserved rights, the abuse of women and girls is a setback to Africaâ€™s development and whoever is involved should be punished for the crimesâ€
â€œIt is not only policies or program that we have put in place, but a practice and activities that other can take an exampleâ€ Makuza said.
The government has ratified most of the gender equality conventions and has set three goals for the next years to 2020- to bridge the digital divide, increase numbers of women in technical skills education, and eradicate GBV to its roots.
Statistics show that Rwandaâ€™s policies and programs have empowered women in various levels of leadership and economic activity.
For example women make up 34% of the Rwandan parliament, 46% of Rwandaâ€™s local government administrative positions, I8% of land is registered by men 26% by women and 54% by both; 39% have community savings (SACCO) bank accounts with a 26% granted credit loans, and 46% have Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) loans.
The One UN Rwanda resident coordinator, Lamin Manneh, thanked President Paul Kagame for policy and efforts in promoting gender equality not only in Rwanda but also emerging as a global champion in gender equality.
â€œI donâ€™t think anybody can dispute that he (Kagame) deserves this recognition and even on the global map he has been elected as the â€˜HeforShe impact championâ€™. We were thrilled when he whole heartedly accepted this roleâ€.
Manneh also explained why the UN came up with another program in addition to the existing ones, and stated that it is needed because changing the community culture and mindset takes a lot of time and effort.
â€œWe believe this will impact on the community and attitude towards gender equality. Driving change can be effective if done from the bottom but also impactful if driven by the top. Each one of you we believe will subscribe to the impact championing campaignâ€ Manneh said.