Rwanda: UN-backed unit charged with pushing gender equality to fore

30 January 2009 – Rwanda has appointed three officials to a new government body charged with putting gender equality at the forefront of Government planning and ensuring that necessary data is readily available to inform policy decisions, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) said today.

The Gender Observatory, established by the national constitution, will work hand in hand with other government institutions, such as the National Institute of Statistics, said UNIFEM.

“We will cut across all sectors of the economy, identify gender performance and give reports that reflect the gaps in the development system which will be a basis for decision making,” explained the new Chief Gender Monitor, Oda Gasinzigwa.

UNIFEM has been a strong advocate for the Observatory and views the selection of the administrators earlier this week as a step forward for women’s rights, the Fund says.

The UNIFEM Regional Office in Kigali has already held discussions with the Observatory on collaboration with its new governance programme, which will be jointly implemented with UN Development Programme (UNDP).

UNIFEM’s role as host and co-chair of the UN Gender Task Force in Rwanda, as well as its co-chairing of the UN Governance Theme Group, provide immediate avenues for supporting the work of the Observatory.

The Chief Gender Monitor, Oda Gasinzigwa, was sworn in along with Eugenié Kabagema, Deputy Chief Monitor in Charge of Fighting Gender Based Violence, and Cyrille Turatsinze, Deputy Gender Monitor in charge of Gender, at the Supreme Court in Kigali at a ceremony on Tuesday attended by the Prime Minister Bernard Makuza among other cabinet ministers, high-level government officials, parliamentarians and representatives of civil society.


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