[The end of the decade on women and its impact on development in Rwanda].

  • S Karwera
  • Published 1985 in Imbonezamuryango = Famille, sante, developpement


This paper outlines steps taken by Rwanda to promote the improved status of women during the International Decade of Women from 1975 to 1985. The manifesto of the 1959 Social Revolution affirmed the quality of women and their right to vote, among other rights. An initial meeting of 200 Rwandan women in 1975. Caused some consternation among the authorities, but the same year saw female personnel in the armed forces. Rwanda is in a good position internationally, having been the 1st African nation to ratify the international convention on the elimination of all descrimination against women. 97% of Rwandan women are employed in the agricultural sector, which is central to the economy, and which is likely because of land ownership and topographic realities to continue to be subsistence oriented. In addition to domestic duties, which include distant transportation of water, the norm is for a woman to work twice as many hours daily as a man, yet not be a principal decision maker in agricultural committees. Only 4.9% of girls had finished primary school in 1978, and 74.4% were illiterate. In an environment of a generalized educational shortage, only 27 secondary schools exist for girls, 49 for boys. Girls are trained principally for professions such as secretaries and midwives; only 4.9% of the student body in agronomy programs in the university is female. Women are notably absent in the decision-making process in the home and all other institutions. There is an acute need for female-oriented health care programs such as maternal child health and family planning. Planning for the improved status of women will benefit from more action outside of women's committees.

Cite this paper

@article{Karwera1985TheEO, title={[The end of the decade on women and its impact on development in Rwanda].}, author={S Karwera}, journal={Imbonezamuryango = Famille, sante, developpement}, year={1985}, volume={3}, pages={5-18} }