Rwanda: Women’s Economic Empowerment

Women’s economic empowerment is essential for achieving women’s rights and gender equality, as well as for inclusive and equitable economic growth. Investing in girls and women has a long-term impact that benefits not only individual women but also families, communities, and countries. Women who have more control over household resources tend to spend more on food, better health, and schooling for their children, increasing the living standards and productivity of the household.

According to available statistics, women in Rwanda contribute significantly to the country’s economy, particularly in agriculture, where they account for 79% of the labour force.

However, women farmers have consistently been less productive than men farmers. Despite statutory reforms that have strengthened women’s ownership rights, discriminatory social and customary norms, as well as limited decision-making power within households, limit women’s ability to control land and income generated from it. Women’s agricultural gains are also hampered by a lack of access to critical agricultural inputs such as improved seeds, technology, extension services, finance, and higher-value markets. Closing the agricultural gender gap through informed investments that remove these barriers represents a massive opportunity for women’s empowerment, economic development, and societal resilience.

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