Climate change, poverty and stereotypes are among issues identified as main challenges that are still hindering women’s development in Africa.
This was highlighted by members of Pan-African Movement (PAM) – Rwanda Chapter as they addressed the media on Friday, July 29, ahead of Africa Women’s Day.
Africa Women’s Day is celebrated annually on July 31 across the continent to recognise and affirm the role of women in advancing the social and economic status of their continent, and prepare young women in Africa to build greater families, peace, as they prepare to be great leaders by connecting them with women influencers in the aspiring fields.
According to the President of National Women Council, Belancille Nyirajyambere, Africa can hardly fully develop when women are still facing issues like climate change and poverty.
“As key actors in sustaining families, building community resilience and responding to climate-related disasters, women tend to make decisions for the utilisation of core resources in the interests of families, communities and children. This implies that they are more affected by climate change than men,” she said.
Executive Secretary of National Women Council, Jackline Kamanzi Masabo, said not recognising women’s role in development, even if it is unpaid care work, remains a challenge and slows not only their development but families too.
“Most families do not understand the principles of harmony and equality such as sharing and valuing housework, affecting women back at home. Everybody deserves value and respect,” she said.
The vice chairperson of PAM Rwanda, Twagirimana Epimake, said the role of women in the development of Africa is very evident and there is a need to maintain it.
“When the rights of women are abused, since they are the heart of home, so much is damaged at home, community and the continent,” Twagirimana said.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022, Rwanda advanced one place in bridging gender inequality globally at 81.1 percent and remains the leading country in Africa.
Rwanda will for the first time celebrate Africa Women’s Day, where participants, mostly women, will be sharing success stories with other countries about issues such as; good governance that allows them to participate in leadership, there will also be testimonies of women who have made it in career, among others.