Nyaruguru district: Development Partners trained on gender equality
40 staff working for a number of development and social welfare-related projects in Nyaruguru district, Southern Rwanda, on Wednesday ended a two-day training workshop on how to make their projects as gender sensitive as possible.
The workshop, under the auspices of UN Women, Nyaruguru districtâ€™s Joint Action Development Forum (JADF) and Rwandaâ€™s Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), comes as an eye-opener, some of the participants uphold.
One of them is EspÃ©rance Munganyinka, an Assistant Project Officer at â€œIgiti cyâ€™Ubugingoâ€ (or, literally, the â€œtree of lifeâ€), a Butare Catholic Diocese-funded NGO dealing with counseling HIV/AIDS-positive people and assisting widows in the districts of Nyaruguru, Huye and Gisagara.
â€œI have learnt how to give our beneficiaries equal opportunities, men and women alike. But I used to favor men especially when it comes to cooperatives by giving much value to their physical strengthâ€, said Munganyinka.
â€œThat mentality is no more. I will be making sure that the number of participants is gender sensitive by incorporating as many women as a way of empowering them as wellâ€, Munganyinka added.
And the change of that â€œmentalityâ€, it seems, is what has been driving organizers of this training workshop.
â€œThe purpose is to train our partners in a bid to have the same understanding of gender conceptâ€, said Fabien Niyitegeka, Nyaruguru districtâ€™s Deputy Mayor in charge of Finance, Economy and Development and JADFâ€™s Vice President in the district.
In 2011, the same training workshop took place in Nyaruguru district. And its repeat for another partnersâ€™ intake this year around, kind of depicts the districtâ€™s interest to keep enhancing the knowledge on gender issues to better serve the local population.
Meanwhile, some media reports already rank Rwanda as a model of gender equality in the world, partly because of its highest number of women MPs in the world and how women are represented from the grassroots upwards. One headline goes a step further to read as follows: â€œRwanda: The Land of Gender Equality?â€