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Rwanda has consistently shown a strong commitment to gender equality and women empowerment to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development. Rwanda is a signatory to several Regional and International Conventions, including the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform of Actions, the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights among others (Gender Policy 2021).
At national level, tremendous efforts have been made to position Gender Equality within national priorities of the Country to ensure equitable and Gender Responsive Development. The 2003 Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda amended in 2015 stresses on Gender Equality by conferring at least 30% of positions to women in decision-making organs and puts in place mechanisms to ensure that the family is protected by the state and flourishes. In addition, gender sensitive laws have been enacted including matrimonial regimes, donation and successions, land access among other mechanisms that resulted in many social and economic gains (BEIJING+25 Report).
In the last two decades, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment have been positioned as cross cutting in the national planning and strategic development frameworks as a cornerstone and prerequisite of sustainable development. These include Vision 2020/2050, National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) and through the revised National Gender Policy among other Sector Strategies, have been translated into implementable actions to enhance the equal participation and benefits of both men and women in Country’s development (Gender Policy 2021). Rwanda is leading globally for women participation in decision-making positions with 61.3% female members of Parliament and ranked 7th globally in closing gender gaps (Global Gender Gap Report, 2021).
In other hand, Agriculture contributes 28% of Rwandan DGP (NISR, 2019a) and accounts for almost 80% of the female labor force with the majority undertaking subsistence farming and own a very small plot of land which resulted to a big gender disparity between women’s and men’s participation in agricultural activities (MINAGRI, 2019).
Gender disparities are also a lived reality at the level of cash crops production. For example, women involved in coffee and tea production represent 25% as opposed to men representing 75%. As a result, women remain in subsistence agriculture, receive low prices for their products due to lack of market information, lack capacity to participate in agri-business and are employed in lowly paid positions in secondary agriculture.
Other key factors that drive inequality include: farm size (farms managed by women are 10.5% smaller than farms managed by men); lower expenditure on fertilizers and insecticides (female farm managers spend 35% less on these inputs compared to farms managed by men); household size (farms managed by women tend to have larger households and a higher dependency ratio); lower prices for agri-produce (compared to prices achieved by men); and time spent in formal education (MINAGRI, 2019)
The increasing number of female headed households especially smallholder women farmers in the rural areas makes agriculture vulnerable to any type of shock events because women rarely have asset stocks nor financial savings because of their state of being illiterate, poor and stereotyped to be subordinate to male counterparts be it at household, community and governance structure levels.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE DIALOGUE
It is in this framework that the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in collaboration with MIGEPROF among other partners are organizing dialogues to discuss on sustainable food systems to ensure that men and women, young girls and boys equally contribute and benefit from agricultural activities for both crop and animal resources commodities.
Specific objective of the dialogue is to:
- Create gender equality awareness in agricultural practices and production.
- Increase knowledge/understanding of nexuses among gender — nutrition- agriculture- climate change.
- Foster the implementation of country’s commitments towards gender equality and agriculture focusing on gender sensitive innovative solutions.
- Streamline the efforts to address gender related issues in the agriculture sector and throughout the value chains.
- Foster’s collective and innovative actions towards sustainable and inclusive agriculture value chains in Rwanda.
- TOPICS THAT WILL BE DISCUSSED
During discussions, the participants will focus on the following topics:
- Supporting women in climate smart agriculture focusing on small female farmers to increase production and value while addressing food loss and waste.
- Creating the innovative solutions for women to access markets and their representation in agricultural value chains.
- Men/boys’ engagement in promoting nutrition and food security at household level.
- GUIDING QUESTIONS:
Topic 01: Supporting women in climate smart agriculture focusing on small female farmers to increase production and value while addressing food loss and waste.
- What are the key challenges faced and adverse impact of climate change on women?
- How be women supported to be more productive in agriculture sector?
- Beyond subsistence agriculture: What are the measures/strategies that can be applied to ensure women to access to markets/strengthening market linkages?
- What can be the role of private sector/ financial institutions to support the start-ups or businesses that benefit women in agriculture sector?
Topic 02: Creating the innovative solutions for women and youth to access markets and their representation in agricultural value chains.
- Digital platforms and financial linkages: how to transform challenges into opportunities through innovations and collective action?
- How to accelerate the application of ICT and other advanced technologies to support growth and agribusiness opportunities for women in agriculture?
- Are there, women farmers as role models? What could be they role to support and encourage more women in agriculture value chains?
Topic 03: Men/boys’ engagement in promoting nutrition and food security at household level.
- What is the role and contribution of men in fighting malnutrition especially among children at the household level?
- How to engender all agricultural value chains?
- What are the mechanisms that can be put in place to increase participation for both women and men in nutrition behavior change?
- DATE OF THE DIALOGUE
The dialogue is expected to be conducted virtually on Tuesday 8th June 2021, from 10:00am-12:00pm GMT+2
The dialogue is expected to bring together over 170 participants from different categories at national and local levels. The following are the targeted participants:
- MINAGRI and its affiliated agencies
- Gender machinery Institutions (MIGEPROF, NWC, GMO)
- Director of Agriculture at District
- Coordinator of National Women Council at District level
- Farmer Representative at District level
- PSF-Women Chamber at national and Provincial level
- Financial Institutions and Micro Finances
- Development partners (FAO, WFP, WB, UNDP, and UN Women)
- Reseaux de development des Femmes pauvres (Member of Coalition of Gender Against Violences, (CSGBV), Member of Sexuel Reproductive Health Forum (SRHF), Member of Coalition on TOBACCO Control, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse (RADAPA), Member of African Women for Sustainable Development (AWSD), Member of RENGOF, Member of Rwanda NCDS Alliance, Member of Human Right Commission (HRC), Member of GPPAC, Member of IOGT