• Rwanda
  • Resources
  • Capacity Building
  • Empowerment

Instruments promoting women empowerment

  • National Constitution, 2003

provides for higher levels of representation to previously marginalized groups such as women

  • Vision 2020

 This is the Rwanda’s development road map that was developed in 2000. It situates human development for both men and women as one of the main pillars of the nation’s development.

  • Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS)

This strategy aims at achieving equity of voice, participation, and accessibility to services in every sector; including enactment and implementation of gender responsive laws

  • The National Decentralisation Policy

This Policy underlines the commitment of the Rwandan government to empower all Rwandans to determine their destiny.

  • Long-Term Investment Framework

This framework recognises the gender issue as a cross-cutting dimension to be mainstreamed into all investment programs for a successful implementation of these programs.

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Gender Institutional Mechanisms

A number of institutions have been put in place to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the various empowerment programmes initiated by the Government of Rwanda. Those institutions include: 

  • Ministry in Charge of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF);
  • Gender Monitoring Office; and
  •  National Women’s Council 


Note: Under the coordination of the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, the month of March is dedicated to women empowerment activities.

Rwanda offers an encouraging example of how post-conflict countries can seize the reform momentum and support women’s empowerment.

Women entrepreneurs are a significant force in Rwanda’s private sector, they head 42% of enterprises. Women comprise 58% of enterprises in the informal sector, which account for 30% of the national GDP.

The Women’ s Voices in Rwanda reports that 82% of women in business in Rwanda are engaged in retail sector, with 16% -17% in services sector and 1% -2% in the manufacturing sector.The reports show that business women in Rwanda are increasingly branching out into non traditional sectors such as information and communication technologies (ICTS) and Fuel.

Rwanda has put in place various initiatives to promote women empowerment in all sectors. 

Some key women empowerment initiatives in place

Rwanda has initiated a holistic approach to make sure that women are empowered and protected. A number of facilities and frameworks have been put in place to support the implementation of each initiative for more impact. Below are some of the key initiatives with facilities and frameworks:

Fighting Violence Against Women

  • Establishment of One stop centers for GBV survivors care
  • National strategic plan on UN Resolution 1325 developed
  • Promulgation of law preventing and punishing Gender Based Violence
  • Gender Desk in Rwanda National Police with Free hotline
  • Men’s association (RWAMREC) that sensitizes the population to eradicate gender based violence

Women economic empowerment

  • Matrimonial Law, 1999 gives to women the same rights of succession as men;
  • Land Organic Law, 2005 provides for equal access to land for both men and women;
  • Labour law, 2009;
  • Establishment of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Umurenge SACCOs) in each sector
  • Creation of People’s Bank for Women’s Promotion (Banque Populaire pour la Promotion Féminine) ;
  • Women’s association supported to initiate Savings and Credit Cooperative «COOPEDU»
  • Existence of “DUTERIMBERE”; - Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs in Private Sector Federation (PSF);

Poverty Reduction

  • Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy developed (EDPRS (Vision 2020). Strategy provides for sensitive budgeting in all Government interventions

Access to Education 

  • Girls’ education Policy and its strategic plan set in place
  •  FAWE Awards for girls to encourage them
  • One laptop per child in support to science and technology benefiting both boys and girls

Access to Health

  • Reproductive Health Policy is in place

Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN)

promotes and improves the socio-economic welfare of women through capacity building and networking


provides technical training in Financial Literacy, Enterprise Development and links smallholder farmers to Financial Services Providers

Business Development Advisors (BDAs)

BDAs help women and youth in developing viable and bankable projects