Peer-Learning Event on Gender Equality

November 4, 2017/IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Rwanda Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), UN Women and Uongozi Institute convened a peer learning event on gender equality in Kigali, Rwanda, November 2 to 4. The workshop aimed at:

  • disseminating best-practices in promoting gender equality beyond the dissemination of theoretical approaches;
  • being a forum for policy makers, gender advocates and civil society to exchange information on successful initiatives to close gender gaps; and
  • building a network for peer-learning within sub-Saharan Africa and creating a foundation for collaboration going forward.

Over the past two decades, Rwanda has emerged as a leader in advancing gender equality and is ranked among the top performing countries for women’s economic and political representation globally. Gender equality has been mainstreamed politically, institutionally, legally and into the budgetary process. Hosting the event in Rwanda therefore provided an opportunity for participants to get hands-on exposure to best practices. Discussions among participants from 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and from other regions, and representing government, civil society organizations (CSO), academia, and the private sector, focused on the following main messages:

  • Important global and regional commitments on gender equality were made under CEDAW, Maputo Protocol and Agenda 2030. Greater efforts, including technical capacity and adequate resource allocations, are needed at national levels to implement those commitments along with strengthened accountability measures in public and private institutions.
  • Gender equality is an important development goal. In addition, it is linked to higher growth, lower income inequality and more diversified exports and output in developing countries.
  • Gender equality should not be the sole responsibility of gender ministries and gender advocates. To successfully advance gender equality, gender policies should be mainstreamed into legal frameworks, budget processes and governments’ development strategies.
  • Improving labor market outcomes for women, in particular ensuring that women do not remain in low wage, low productivity jobs, requires country-specific policy interventions. They include policies to increase financial access, decrease school dropout rates, and provide affordable access to quality health services.
  • Gender budgeting is an important tool. To be successful, it requires political will, in particular engagement by the Ministry of Finance; collaboration with existing women’s organizations, such CSOs and academia; legal status; and proper monitoring and evaluation, supported by effective public financial management.
  • Good gender-disaggregated data are necessary not only for analysis and solid policy advice but also critical for informing private sector decisions. For example, information on financial performance of female vs. male-headed firms can inform lending decisions by financial institutions.

Workshop participants met with the Rwanda Forum for Women Parliamentarians, and visited a number of women’s empowerment focused programs, including the K-Lab, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre, Isange One Stop Centre, C&H Garments LTD, Pro-Femme TWESE HAMWE Centre of Excellence, and Gahaya Links. The workshop also benefited from views from the Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Amb. Claver Gatete, the Rwandan Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Nyirasafari Espérance, the Ghanaian Hon. Minister of Gender and Social Protection Otiko Afisa-Djaba, the Liberian Hon. Acting Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Sieane Abdul-Baki, high-level officials from UN Women, the IMF, and the Uongozi Institute, and representatives from a variety of other institutions.

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