The Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) has started a program to assess the concepts that govern gender balance in cooperatives in Rwanda. About 45.8percent of women compared to 54.2percent of men in Rwanda work with cooperatives according to Rwanda Cooperative Agency so gender balance should be respected.
GMO officials in a discussion with COOPT members
During the GMO visit to the union of cooperatives in Rubavu district called Rubavu COOPT that farms and harvests tea in February found gender balance concept respected but with the union disregarding the plight of women who harvest tea while carrying children on their backs as a hindrance to their work compared to their male counterparts.
According to GMO workers, tea harvesters carry baskets on their backs to ensure quick and easy harvest but a woman with a child on the back cannot carry the basket which makes it a difficult adventure. It is also noted that tea harvesters enjoy doing so during the rain and mothers with children on the back will disregard their responsibilities as parents and take their infants for the harvest during the rain for the sake of their work or fail to do the work.
A mother with a child on her back harvesting tea
Rubavu COOPT has about 1988 members of whom only 23.5percent are women. The limitations to women participating in this COOPT to most women is lack of 25ares of land grown with tea and Rwf20.000 fee for one to become a member. It is however commendable for having 30percent of women in management committees.
Though this COOPT operates only in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts, GMO is also evaluating the concept of gender in cooperatives that grow pyrethrum operating in Musanze district and cooperatives that grow rice in Huye and Gatsibo districts.
Radhan Barengayabo the deputy director FOR Gender Concept in GMO said GMO is evaluating cooperatives as forums that bring together many Rwandans that should respect gender balance and work towards promoting Rwandan families.
Incoming search terms:
- Gender Monitoring Office
- Musanze district cooperatives
- rwanda cooperative agency and women cooperative