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Women contributing to the recontruction of a post-genocide Rwanda
25 September 2020

Women contributing to the recontruction of a post-genocide Rwanda

This year, Zorg van de Zaak Foundation will make a one-ff contribution to a micro-credit project in Rwanda. Women play a key role in rebuilding Rwanda. What is special about this project, is that the participants in 4 out of the 5 cooperatives are exclusively women. We hope that in this way, it will be possible for all connected members to save up, receive small loans and strengthen local commerce.

The genocide, which cost the lives of around a million people in 1994, still has a big influence on Rwanda’s economy. Approximately 34% of the population lives below the poverty line. 32% of families are led by women, who are generally widowed and who also take care of orphaned children.

The ‘POWER’ project supports vulnerable women. They take part in a cooperative with the goal at saving money and easily getting small loans. Most of Rwanda’s economy consists of agriculture. It is mainly women who are responsible for the agricultural activities. Because they have never had control over finances due to their cultural background, they lack skills related to financial independence.

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and life expectancy is low. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on the large young part of the population. Due to the lacking development of the country, there are few possibilities for economic growth and stability for the population.

Gender equality is a big issue in Rwanda. Formally, girls’ and women’s rights are recognized. In practice, however, cultural norms and tradition have a much bigger impact than these rights. ‘POWER’ stands for ‘Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda’. Women receive extra support by working together in a cooperative and strengthening the local community further.