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Youth and women empowerment programs get UN boost

Youth and women empowerment programs get UN boost

The government of Rwanda and the one UN Rwanda on July 8th signed a financing agreement worth US$28millions (approximately Rwf19billion) to support women and youth empowerment programs

The funds will support the national employment program directed towards the youth and women employment as stipulated under the EDPRS2

The program will contribute towards structural shift from the current 104.000 off farm jobs annual job creation rate to the targeted 200.000 jobs. Direct beneficiaries will be both urban and rural youth with in the age bracket of 16 to 35 years.

Minister of Finance Claver Gatete welcomed the support and said that the funding will support efforts to achieve the youth and women employment as planned in the development strategy.

Rwanda population is largely made of youth and according to the 2012 population census, on average, 125,000 Rwandans enter the labour market annually.

It’s also estimated that of 5.89 million Rwandans of working age, 70.6 per cent lies in the youth definition bracket, 65 per cent are underemployed with 4 per cent falling under the unemployed category.

In Vision 2020, Rwanda’s long-term socioeconomic development agenda, it is envisaged that a critical mass of viable SMEs will create 3.2 million off-farm Jobs by 2020.  Incidentally, unemployment is one of the biggest challenges Rwanda is facing today.

The youth population between 14-35 years old is 4, 159,000, among them 70.2% are working and 26.3% are students.

About 65% of the youth work less than 35hours per week and this is a proxy to time related to underemployment. It is also estimated that 1.4% are unemployed and the unemployment is high in Kigali city with 4.8% for men and 10% for female.

The representatives from around the world who were in Kigali for the Women in Parliament (WIP) 2014 Summit recently lauded the Government of Rwanda for empowering girls through Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET). This was after visiting Gacuriro Vocational Training Center (VTC) located in Gasabo district, Kigali city.

On women’s empowerment, Speaker of Parliament Donatille Mukabalisa, said that in many ways the rapid advance in gender equality in Rwanda was hastened by necessity:

“Of the survivors of the genocide, 70% were women. They had no choice but to take the lead in healing a broken and fractured society. Rwanda needed everyone to come together to ensure an inclusive reconstruction process and guarantee that genocide would never happen again,” she said.

In formulating the 2003 constitution, it was decided that parliament must have a quota of at least 30% women. This has been easily exceeded in every election since. At the elections for the Chamber of Deputies last September, took 64% of seats, the highest level of female representation of any country in the world.

“We are happy to share this success stories with our colleagues by hosting the WIP Summer Summit,” Mukabalisa added. 

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