Today more than 200 delegates from government, development partners, foundations, civil society, academia, the private sector, media and non-government organizations from different African countries and beyond have convened in Kigali to discuss strategies needed to accelerate the momentum on promoting gender equality at the continental level.
“Women and men should have equal household responsibilities first, engage in parents discussions held every evening. Media should be reporting news on gender. Local government leaders should comprehend gender rights and promote equality,” said Esperance Nyirasafari, Minister for Gender and Family Promotion.
The two day meeting is themed,”Changing dynamics,accelerating progress”and is looking into the state of gender equality and accountability in the framework of Africa agenda 2030 and 2063, the impact of political will on promotion of gender equality, mechanisms of promoting gender sensitive investments,as well as strategies for bridging gender digital divide in Africa.
“Gender equality in Africa is about attitude towards differences between men and women. It should be taught at child age to better understand gender equality, to avoid pregnancies, stigma, to be open about contraceptives to parents. The school system helps to better understand gender equality.Rwanda is at the top when it comes to gender equality. To reach gender equality you need to change traditional attitudes and the laws,” said the Swedish ambassador.
Youths’ role in promoting gender equality and sustaining its gains is also tackled.
“Gender equality has received string recognition as a human and development right as well as strategic fator for good governance. Despite the gains, there is need for more efforts and commitments for accelerating the pace towards achieving gender equality and this requires everyone’s contributions,” said Rose Rwabuhihi, Chief Gender Monitor at the Gender Monitoring Office.
The conference is in support of the Africa Smart Women’s summit part of the Transform Africa summit.
“Children, boys and girls should be taught equally. The culture needs to be improved taking what is positive in our culture,” she said.
Gender equality is an opportunity to extend discussion beyond ‘Africa smart women and girls initiative.
The Rwandan government put gender equality at the forefront and it is comprised in every institution where 30% of decision makers are women, 64% of them in the lower chamber of parliament, 34.4% in senate, 40% in cabinet,50% in judiciary and 43.6% active members of district advisory councils.