Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Women economic status improving, officials say


Women engaged in tailoring, one of the small scale enterprises that helps uplift their economic status. 
As the country marked the end of a month dedicated to women and girls, yesterday, several officials said the performance of women in managing business and accessing financial facilities at banks is steadily growing. 

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, said with the collaboration of partner-agencies, women were empowered financially in different ways. 

“In this just concluded month, we focus more on debates and talk shows about women empowerment. Since the biggest percentage of the Rwandan population is women, the more they are empowered, the more they contribute to the welfare of their family and intimately the national economy,” said Gasizingwa. 

She added that government is currently putting more emphasis on girl-child education as a forward-looking strategy for women empowerment. 

Regarding monitoring of women performance in the economic field, the minister said that the National Institution of Statistics of Rwanda frequently conducts women-centred surveys on which government bases to plan. 

Business Development Fund chief executive Innocent Bulindi said his fund has secured Rwf15 billion, and as a special provision for women, they will finance projects whose owners have raised 25 per cent of the required capital—implying that the fund will finance the remaining 75 per cent.

For other applicants for grants, the fund requires prospective entrepreneurs to come up with 50 percent of the capital and top it up with the same amount. 

“Women are catching up in acquiring financial services although they are very conscious which result to most of them going for averagely small loans ranging between around Rwf500,000 to one million,” said Bulindi.

The gender month was launched by the First Lady Jeanette Kagame in Musanze District during the celebration of International Women’s Day, where she graced the launch of Umugoroba 


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