Brochure_Pro_Femmes_Voice and Choice of Rwandan Women
UMBRELLA OF 59 MEMBERS ASSOCIATIONS AIMING AT WOMEN’S
PROMOTION, PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT
Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe: Voice and Choice of Rwandan Women
2. Executive summary
3. Data on Rwanda and gender: the contribution of Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe (PFTH) and
the way ahead
4. Pro-Femmes: what it is, what it does
5. Why Pro-Femmes: Projects and case studies
Promoting Women Participation in Peace-Building: Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe ex-•
perience on the International Day for the Promotion of Tolerance and Peace
Rwamrec and the women and men partnership for peace-building in Rwanda•
Protecting Women from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: the experience of Pro-•
Femmes, AVEGA, SEVOTA, HAGURUKA (
Project for the women economic reinforcement in North Rwanda: how to reduce•
poverty and hunger in rural areas
Economic Empowerment of women in the Eastern Africa Region – DUTERIMBERE,•
Education for Peace – UMUSEKE (photos)•
Health – PF, AVEGA, 6. Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe (PFTH) Strategic Plan: key ar-•
eas of intervention.
7. What should be done?
8. What are the opportunities for doing it?
9. Funding requirements
10. Press articles
TABLE OF CONTENT
D.Y., genocide survivor from Gatumba
The genocide took my entire family. Life after the genocide was unthinkable to
me. I found no interest in anything. I lived my life as it came, in solitude and pov-
erty. I had no trust in people around me. I had fields, but I would not go to work.
I remember there was a project which asked us to come because they wanted
to help survivors. The project organised training over a few days, but I thought
it was not serious. They even gave us 30,000 Rwandan Francs (RWF) as pocket
money after the training. I went to the bank, as it was necessary to have a bank
account to withdraw this money. I withdrew the entire amount, I went to the
market and bought everything I wanted, until I spent all the money. I remember
I came home with only RWF500 left. The trauma was such that I could not do
anything sensible, or do anything with other people. I isolated myself in fear and
The Alert project helped me accept myself, and grieve. The training given by Pro-Femmes has helped
me reintegrate into the community in all aspects, and to meet people again. I realised I had a lot of
prejudices against ex-prisoners, and Hutus generally. I did not know that they, too, had suffered, in
some respects, from the genocide. We spoke together of the topics related to the analysis of con-
flicts, and we learned how to solve them. The support given by ARCT Ruhuka has helped me recover
my mental health, so I managed to find reasons to live and I started to live in harmony with all the
people around me. I feel I have been accepted by other people, and I have a new network of relation-
ships thanks to the project. I even accepted working with the killers of my family. Today, I earn a good
living, I have activities which bring me money, I have projects for the future. I even decided to forgive
the culprits of my family’s killing.
INTERNATIONAL ALERT, Healing Fractures Lives: Reconciliation and Reintegration in Rwanda, September 2012, p. 12
At a time when gender based violence and women’s economic empowerment are gaining
worldwide attention in every country, examples of good governance focused on women’s role
and position in all decisions relating to peace and security, as well as to sustainable develop-
ment, are particularly important in promoting and advancing gender equality in intergovern-
mental processes and civil society.
The principles of gender equality have been written into the constitutions of some countries,
but individual laws have often had to be changed or repealed altogether in order to ade-
quately reflect the principles of gender equality set out by the Committee on the Elimination
of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and MDG 3.
Women in Rwanda have contributed significantly to the facilitation of unity and reconciliation
among Rwandans after the genocide. Rwandan women have demonstrated their courage and
determination in building self-sufficiency and livelihoods in dignity and solidarity.
In 1991, there were associations working for women’s promotion. They had been initiated
for various reasons. In 1992, 13 Rwandan Associations decided to combine their efforts and
created the umbrella PRO-FEMMES/TWESE HAMWE (PF/TH). On 18th October 1992 it was
publicly started and obtained its legal status in 2002. Since then, PF/TH has been committed
to ensuring changes in legislation and the adoption of international conventions in favour of
women. Rwandese women associated with PF/TH have the capacity to lobby for their rights
of representation in ensuring the amendment of discriminatory laws as well as the initiation
of new gender-sensitive laws
Today PRO-FEMMES/TWESE HAMWE is an umbrella made of 59 members
associations aiming at Women Promotion, Peace and Development.
2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
3. Data on Rwanda and gender: the contribution of PF and the way ahead
A nationwide program to mainstream Gender in all national development programs and ac-
tivities was initiated by the Government of Rwanda immediately after the emergency period
that followed the tragic genocide of the Tutsi of 1994. It was at this time that the active
commitment by PF/TH translated into the constitutional provision of “at least” 30% women’s
representation in decision-making. It has also led to 56.25% women’s representation in the
Chamber of Deputies and 30% in the Senate. This was followed by the founding of a Women
Affairs Ministry, which was later changed to become the Ministry of Gender and Family Pro-
motion (MIGEPROF), the establishment of the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), the passing
of several policies and, the enactment of laws that reinforce the commitment to promote
gender equality and women’s empowerment in all sectors of life in Rwanda. For instance,
women’s legislative representation is 56% in the Low Chamber and 35 % in the Senate (55%
in the East African Legislative Assembly and 50% in the Pan African Parliament); in the ju-
diciary, 42% are women and 30% of executives are women. Therefore, Rwanda is amongst
the best countries in the world in terms of representation of women.
PF/TH has worked intensively to collect data on women’s conditions, pledging at the same
time for the creation of the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) as stated in the article 185 of the
Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 4 June 2003. GMO and Civil Society Organisations
(CSO) partners agreed to work together to share information on mechanisms, practices and
attitudes for a positive contribution to mainstreaming gender in CSOs and to set up the initial
baseline of performance on gender mainstreaming.
Executive Secretary of GMO (centre) with CSO representatives from
Pro-femmes Twese/hamwe (left), COPORWA, IMBARAGA, and CCOAIB (right)
PF/TH is part of the CSO platform and is committed to m gender and sensitize their benefi-
ciaries and staff on gender equality.
Today Rwanda has progressed in the elaboration of data after the establishment of the
GMO, which has recently published reports witnessing progresses at the social, economic
and political levels. To this end PF/TH is collaborating to collect data and contributing to
the improvement of gender balance and equal treatment for all, especially in education and
However, much remains to be done to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),
national strategies for poverty reduction (EDPRS), Vision 2020 and the eradication of gen-
der inequalities. This is because a large number of women are poor, with limited educated,
illiterate and victims of violence and discrimination.
4. Pro-Femmes: what it is, what it does
Pro-Femmes mission is to contribute to:
The eradication of all forms of discrimination towards women and promotion of their•
socio-economic, political and legal status.
The enhancement of the institutional capacity of the umbrella and member associations,•
and the promotion of a sustainable human development based on gender and a culture
of peace based on social justice, respect of human rights, tolerance and non-violence.
To combine efforts, working for change so as to eradicate all forms of discrimination and•
violence towards women;
To be a consultation and a reflection framework on success strategies on mission of•
member associations committed to the promotion of peace, women’s social, economic,
cultural and legal status;
To facilitate exchanges between various member organisations and to promote partner-•
ship with organisations or institutions working for women promotion.
i. Action for Peace Campaign (CAP)
ii. Information Education and Communication (IEC)
iii. Institutional and organisation capacity building for member organisations
ASSOCIATION DOMAINS OF ACTIVITY DISTRICT
All associations Gender (Cross-cutting issue) All Districts
All associations Culture of Peace
AEC, AFER, AGR, Ahumwagutari Amize-
ro, Amaliza, ARTCF, ASOFERWA, AVEGA
Agahozo, Ndabaga, Benimpuhwe,
Benishyaka , Club Mamans Sportives,
Duterimbere , FVA, Icyuzuzo, JOC-F,
Solidaires Benurugwiro, UCFR, Lumière
de la vie, COCOF, Women For Women,
WIF, SOS Ramira, Assoc. Nzambazama-
riyaVeneranda, Urumuli rw’urukundo,
Enhancement of women’s
Kayonza, Huye ,
Gisagara , Bugesera ,
hango, Kicukiro Nya-
masheke, Rusizi Gak-
SWAA, Icyuzuzo, ARCT Ruhuka, WIF,
COR UNUM, ARBEF, Rwanda Women’s
Network, FVA,Haguruka, Amizero, FVA,
Barakabaho, AGR ,JOC-F, ASOFERWA,
Mbwirandumva, Urumuli rw’urukundo,
Women For Women, ARTCF
Ngoma, Kayonza, Kirehe
, Muhanga ; Nyanza,
Haguruka, AVEGA Agahozo, ARTCF
ASOFERWA, Ndabaga, Association
Nzambazamariya Veneranda , Rwanda
Social Justice Rwamagana, Kayonza,
Ngoma, Kirehe, Ngoma
Gatsibo, Rutsiro, Rusizi
HAGURUKA and AVEGA
at national level
MEMBERS & THEIR DOMAINS ...
JOC /F, Benishyaka, Misercorde,
Rwanda Women’s Network, FAWE,
UCFR, Giribambe, Benimpuhwe, Um-
ushumba mwiza, SOS Ramira, Mission
of Hope, SWAA, Haguruka, COR UNUM,
Fondation Tumurere, Fondation Baraka-
baho, Réseau des Femmes, AFEPROF,
Education Gasabo, Kicukiro,
Rulindo, Musanze, Huye
Rusizi, Musanze, Rubavu
Rubavu, Gicumbi, Ngo-
ma, Kamonyi, FAWE in
Seruka, Benimpuhwe, Misericorde,
Urunana D. C.
AFCF, ARTC/F, ARTC Ruhuka, AVEGA
Agahozo, Ass. Ndabaga, JOC F, Seruka,
Réseau des Femmes, Giribambe,
Women for Women,Duterimbere,
Haguruka, AGR, Rwamrec, SODECO
Capacity Building Nyarugenge, Kicukiro,
Ngoma ; Kayonza,
Karongi, Rutsiro Rusizi.
Amizero, Seruka , Benimpuhwe, JOC- F
Environment Rwamagana, Bugesera
, Nyarugenge, Rulindo,
ARFEM, Haguruka, Seruka, ARCT
Ruhuka, Réseau des Femmes, ARBEF,
Communication National level
5. Resolution 1325 (photos by Suzanne on paper to be scanned)
Since 1995, PF/TH and its member organizations have thought about a common program «
Campaign for peace » which is a point of rallying of women from different cultures and a tool
for women’s awareness raising on the prevention of gender-based violence.
The ground-breaking Security Council resolution 1325, which was passed in the year 2000, is
the first to link women’s experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agen-
da, focusing attention on the impact of conflict on women and girls, and calling for women’s
engagement in conflict resolution and peace building.
Rwanda was among the first countries to embrace the 1325 UN Resolution as an instrument,
amongst others, in addressing the challenges of the post Genocide era.
PF/TH together with MIGEPROF and Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) participated in the devel-
opment of the National Action Plan 2009-2012 for the implementation of the Resolution.
Since 1997 PF/TH has in fact successfully lead reintegration programs for returning prison-
ers, survivors and demobilized soldiers, reaching a total of 3,308 men and women. Another
3,600 former soldiers were reintegrated from the Mutobo camp on the border with DRC.
Furthermore PF/TH has played a pivotal role in Rwanda-made peace keeping initiatives.
Rwandan women have undergone various trainings on peace keeping, conflict management,
mediation and reconciliation. For example, of the judges and witnesses in the GACACA Courts
35% were women. Furthermore, 318 community leaders have been trained to raise aware-
ness on the GACACA procedures. Other initiatives include solidarity camps (Ingando) that
exposes women to civic education and peace building and “Itorero” which is a national tra-
ditional school on Rwandan culture and values. This runs from the grassroots to the national
level and facilitates women to have a say in the sustainable development of their country. PF/
TH together with MINIJUST and sponsored by the European Union trained 25000 «Abunzi»,
who are conciliators in the community. This is another initiative of conflict resolution where
over 30% of members are women.
The impact of the activities which have been implemented has lead Rwandan Civil Society to
establish a coalition against gender based violence coordinated by the umbrella organization
PF/TH and supported by UNWOMEN. This includes a men’s center to fight against GBV named
Rwanda’s Men Resource Centre (RWAMREC). RWAMREC strives to sensitize the community
on eradication of gender based violence specifically violence against women.. Today, 4 years
after the adoption of the Action Plan for Resolution 1325, PF/TH is longing for a Rwandese
society rid of all forms of gender related discrimination, and thus characterised by equality
and equity between men and women in the development process and in the context of a
stable and peaceful society
6. Promoting Women Participation in Peace-Building: Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe
experience on the International Day for the Promotion of Tolerance and Peace
“GBV is an ancient problem. It was there before we were born. It continues to exist and will probably
“Sexual (and gender based) violence in general is largely rooted in unequal power relations. These per-
petuate and condone violence within the family and the community (…). The distinction made between
public and private spheres should not serve as an excuse for not addressing domestic violence as a form
of sexual and gender based violence. The exclusion of women and girls from the public arena only increas-
es their vulnerability to violence within the family. Domestic violence reinforces gender-based discrimi-
nation and keeps women subordinate to men” RWAMREC/RWN/AJEPRODHO “Gender-based violence
(GBV) Base-line study in 13 districts” page. 46
Since 16th November 1995, 185 member States including Rwanda have decided to celebrate
the International Day of Tolerance. PF/TH celebrates each year this Day honouring the First
UNESCO Mandanjeet Singh Prize, awarded in Paris on the 16th November 1996 “for their
outstanding contributions in rehabilitating families and communities devastated by mass
violence, through their activities fostering a climate of peace based on tolerance and non-
violence”. Each year PF/TH organizes 10 days of activities directed towards both educational
establishments and the wider Rwandan public, in line with the UN Declaration of Principles
and Plan of Action for follow-up to the United Nations Year of Tolerance in 1995.
PF/TH has been engaging in programs which propose non-violent alternatives in post-conflict
On the 16th November 2012, recognizing that dialogue is a fundamental tool for the con-
firmation of peace and taking stock of the Mahatma Ghandi quotation: “The golden rule of
conduct is mutual toleration, seeing that we will never all think alike and we shall always see
Truth in fragment and from different points of vision”, PF/TH dedicated its International Day
of Tolerance to the promotion of a debate gathering 200 people throughout Rwanda. The
debates focused on the promotion of peace and tolerance founded on diversity within the
communities, being that cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious and on human rights.
7. Rwamrec and the women and men partnership for peace-building in Rwanda
In Rwanda a recent survey conducted by Rwamrec, Rwanda Women Network and
AJEPRODHO: Association de la Jeunesse pour la Promotion des Droit de L’Homme et le
Developpement and sponsored by NPA demonstrate that women represent 90% of all GBV
victims, with 10% of victims being male. In the last 12 months, about 68 of respondents
have witnessed a case of a woman beaten by her husband/partner. Women also constitute
the majority of spousal murder, while men are the majority among poisoning victims. In spite
of this, women talk more about their problems and although women talk more about their
problems, suicide is higher among women than men. 30.8% of respondents have heard of
or seen a child victim of rape/sexual abuse, 50.8% of child rapes are committed at home,
20.7% of all respondents have a personal experience of GBV. Rape/sexual harassment is the
most important followed by hitting and economic deprivation. Rape was higher in Ngororero,
followed by Karongi and Kayonza, but we were not able to explain why it was higher in these
districts than in others.
The way women and men socialize does not allow men to talk about violence and, for this
reason Rwamrec has committed to start teaching how women and men can be partners in
gender-based violence prevention and peace-building in their communities.
8. Protecting Women from Gender-Based Violence:
the experience of PFTH, AVEGA, SEVOTA, HAGURUKA
After the genocide Pro-Femmes was directly engaged in the formulation of policies and laws
for the reconstruction and the reconciliation of the country. In 1994, Rwanda was shattered
by 100 days of horror that left more than a million people dead. The survivors were left
wounded, both physically and mentally, trying to piece their lives together again. According
to the African Union more than 250,000 widowed victims registered with the Ministry of Fam-
ily and Women in Development soon after the genocide ended. Most had lost not only their
husbands, but also their property. By 1996 the government was faced with about 400,000
widows who needed help to become self-supporting. In 1995, fifty genocide widows formed
AVEGA Agahazo, the Association of the Widows of Rwanda. Although a law was passed in
November 1999 allowing widows the rights to inherit land and their husband’s property, wid-
ows still remain ostracized in their communities with limited access to services. Furthermore,
during the genocide thousands of women were systematically raped by HIV-positive men as
part of a campaign to spread the virus. Out of the 150,000 Rwandans who are believed to be
living with HIV, approximately 78,000 are women. On the 23rd of June 2011, United Nations
First International Widow’s Day, AVEGA started a project for the training of 100 paralegals
to educate HIV-positive widows and genocide survivors about their property and inheritance
AVEGA is a non-profit organization that aims to bring hope to widows, orphans, parents who
lost their children, the elderly and the handicapped. AVEGA offers comfort to women who live
in an abyss of sorrow. Its principle objectives are as under:
• To promote the general welfare of the victims of the genocide
• To promote solidarity amongst members of the association
• To carry out activities aimed at the amelioration of widows’ living conditions
• To cooperate with other organizations which have the same goals as AVEGA.
• To commemorate the genocide victims and to fight for justice
• To participate in the national reconstruction and reconciliation processes
In most countries, women tend to be the family caregivers. Many take care of more than
one generation. These women are often themselves at advanced ages. For example, in sub-
Saharan Africa, 20% of rural women aged 60 and older are the main carers for their grand-
children. In the 2012 WHO study on health systems in Africa it is reported that local and
community health services are under-resourced and require more investments to boost their
capacity to deliver quality care and increase access for the poor and vulnerable members of
society including older persons. AVEGA has recently met with old women who are living alone
in the Nyanza district, in order to shed light on the role older women play in their families
and communities, caring for their partners, parents, children and grandchildren. One of the
major issues in Rwanda is how to increase access to services by the poor and the majority of
people living in periurban and urban areas, deliberately including those services that target
older people. People often equate women’s worth with beauty, youth and the ability to have
Initiated in October 1994, SEVOTA was officially founded on December 28, 1994 in Taba-
Gitarama in order to rebuild the human relationships that were destroyed during the geno-
cide. Its activities extended to other districts of the country as well in particular concerning
the advocacy for women and children rights. SEVOTA women have been actively involved in
the recognition of rape as a genocide act and a crime against humanity (Law of 10 Septem-
ber 1998 on the prevention and repression of gender based violence). The same law cracks
down rape complicity, child abandonment due to his or her sex, spousal rape, spousal ha-
rassment, cohabitation, polygamy, sexual harassment, spousal murder and sexual torture.
SEVOTA has been awarded the Prize for the Promotion of Human Rights by Human Rights
International. The prize has been given to women in Musanze for their rotating fund, to
women in Ngororero to buy their cows and to the social funds for covering school fees and
the health insurance.
HAGURUKA association has been working in this domain since 1991 in order to provide wom-
en and children with legal and judicial assistance and to reinstall them with their rights.
During its 18 years of existence HAGURUKA has accomplished numerous activities in the
sphere of advocacy and promotion of women’s and children’s rights.
• Training and sensitization: 19760 persons were trained about women and children’s
rights. In general 60712 were trained and 300000 sensitized about human rights.
• Legal, judicial and psycho-social assistance: 50000 persons have benefited from le-
gal advice through legal advisors and 384 persons have been legally represented before
courts of Law by advocates paid by Haguruka, 12210 persons have been reinstalled with
• 76 human rights clubs have been established in secondary schools of Huye, Nyamagabe
and Rusizi, 124 managers of these clubs were trained and are presently active.
9. Project for women’s economic reinforcement in North Rwanda: how to reduce
poverty and hunger in rural areas
In 2008, Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe, together with its associations: Haguruka, Benimpuh-
we, Mouvements des Travailleurs Chretiens, Icyuzuzo, Women Investment Fund, Urumuri,
Aho umwaga utari, Seruka, Duterimbere, Union Chretienne Féminine, COCOF and Federa-
tion Imbaranga started a project on the reduction of poverty and hunger in the rural areas
in accordance with MDG1, with the financing of the Belgian Cooperation and of the European
Union. The project focused on “Ubudehe”, a practice and a social value of reciprocal help
among the members of a village sharing the same problems and the same social realities.
The project envisaged a sum of 1000 Euros per vil-
lage for the activities started by its inhabitants. Any-
way EU financing is not enough for the population’s
needs because, even though the objective in gen-
eral was to transform a subsistence level of agricul-
ture into one of a commercial value, trade of agri-
cultural products cannot count on a developed
transformation and conservation industry. Women
in agriculture represent a large proportion of work-
force (82%) which is largely employed in agriculture
Beneficiary of PFTH support for small project income generation (IGA)
The cultivation of corn for the people in the village of Mutenderi was carried out by a coop-
erative, which is still encountering problems due to: - scarcity of cultivation space, scarcity
of selected seeds and scarcity of agricultural revenues.
Public investment in agriculture in Rwanda has attained no more than 12% of
the national budget. However, despite the large number of donors support-
ing the sector through the government, impact on rural revenues is still low.
The role of women in trade of agricultural prod-
ucts is underestimated and a recent research
commissioned by Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe
showed that there is still progress to be made;
notably in decreasing the Global Malnutrition
Rate (24.1% in 2010) and in developing bet-
ter access to markets, technology and funding.
In Rwanda, the Constitution and the Land Right Law n. 08/2005 of 14
July 2005 establishes equal heritage of the land for both women and
men and a long-term land contract to allow them equal access to credit.
Women’s cooperative beneficiaries of PFTH working in coffee fields.
(Photos: Martin H.) | Rulindo District, MASORO Sector, 2012
is high, a lack of funding
does not allow for con-
tinuous support to rural
women in the long-term.....
10. Economic Empowerment women in the Eastern Africa Region – DUTERIMBERE
Cross border trade is a significant and growing component of Rwanda’s export base. The
cross border strategy however, recognizes that cross border trade is gendered. Men trade
more often in more capital intensive goods such as manufactured goods than women who
trade mostly with primary commodities with no value addition (International Alert/UN Wom-
The Informal Cross Border Traders (ICBTs) appears to play a vital role in alleviating poverty
and promoting women economic empowerment. However, by operating outside the official
import and export channels, Informal Cross Border Traders (ICBTs) face several and specific
constraints. Key challenges include limited access to credit, which also constrains traders’
ability to take advantage of market conditions and opportunities, multiple control posts with
high risks of corruption and high transport costs which significantly reduce the returns to
investment and the profit margins. This leaves limited funds for reinvestment, thus con-
straining ICBTs ability to move out of poverty. Furthermore, Cross Border Tarders (ICBTs)
face significant multiple and arbitrary taxation of goods, greater insecurity and sexual ha-
rassment (especially for women), poor accommodation and storage and high costs of com-
munication. If informal trade contributes 20 billion Rwandan Francs to the national economy,
women contribute for 60%. In January 2013, Cyanika Cross Border. Moreover, Pro-femmes
was represented by the Project Coordinator WICBTs Trade Mark Funded Project, the Regional
Coordinator of Pro-femmes Twese/ Hamwe and the Regional Chairperson of Pro-femmes
Twese/Hamwe. The event was both a celebration and a reflection moment for Cyanika Infor-
mal Cross Border traders. Listening to testimonies and poems from the members of the pre-
cooperative you could feel their determination to start a new journey from a murky business
path to dignified, secure and sustainable business. The women and men confronted their
fears and spoke earnestly about the ordeals the average informal cross border trader faces
on a daily basis; in the presence of law enforcement authorities without fear of reprimand,
they spoke about the business losses they suffered, the risk of physical and sexual abuse by
bandits that they face and the low esteem associated with the informal cross border business
(being called names especially the women traders). Initial findings of an informal cross bor-
der trader’s identification exercise in Cyanika carried out by Pro-femmes Twese Hamwe had
previously indicated an immediate need for awareness raising and sensitisation interventions
for informal cross border traders in Cyanika.
At the United Nations, the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability is-
sued a report stating that our global future is not just about markets,
but about the women and men who drive and are affected by them. We need to consider how
growth is generated, where it is goes, and what it does to women, men,
families and the environment.
Article 13: Economic and social life.
Women have equal rights to family benefits, fi-
nancial credit, and participation in recreational
activities. Convention on the Elimination of Dis-
crimination Against Women, 1979
Duterimbere is the most active NGO for women
economic development in Rwanda since 1987.
Thanks to COOPEDU, a savings and credit co-
operative, founded in 1997 and to the microfi-
nance institution Duterimbere IMF Ltd in 2004
women are encouraged to run income generat-
ing activities through access to local funds and
are supported in their project management.
Reaching women with low income in the coun-
try means setting up of loan funds meant for
funding run by women and providing them with
technical support in the project management,
facilitating their easy access to better integra-
tion in the country economic development. The
institution is present in every province and
serves so far 66,905 clients.
“Some women would find it hard to get loans
while others would get them and not use them
well leading to losses. We therefore embarked
on an exercise to prepare women before they
access loans, on how to put them to good use.
We also empower Rwandan women with life-
skills to make them economically independent”
Martine Umubyeyi – President of Duterimbere.
10. Education for Peace – UMUSEKE
Peace does not only depend on the signature of agreements between countries, but also
between actors in everyday life. Peace is built every day and is taught since the youngest
age. 52% of Rwandans are young people under 18. In 2000 Umuseke was created to pro-
mote tolerance and prevent violence by ensuring the youth are aware of their value for the
sustainable development of the country. Umuseke aims to promote:
a culture of peace as a condition of sustainable human development•
the opening to activities favouring socio-economic development and the protection of•
personal development and the respect for the others•
unity, solidarity and autonomy of young citizens•
From 2000 until 2012 49036 children have followed the training organized by Umuseke “Vers
la Citoyenneté avec le Sentier de la Paix”. 1170 teachers have been trained and 96 clubs on
dialogue for peace have been founded.
11. Health – PFTH
Current data demonstrates that although in Rwanda there has been a gradual improve-
ment in reproductive health indicators, there is still a high prevalence of maternal mortal-
ity (338/100.000 live births in 2010), infant mortality and child mortality (children under
5 years) respectively 50/1.000 and 76/1.000 live births in 2010 and HIV & AIDS at (3.6%
for women in the 15-49 age group as opposed to 2.3% among men in the same slice age
in 2005). Women’s work overload, coupled with high fertility rates (4.6 or almost 5 children
per woman) remains a challenge, especially in rural areas. The consequences of the 1994
genocide against the Tutsi are still widely felt in communities and once again women often
pay the heaviest price.
Cultural and tradition practices rooted in the patriarchal system still hinder the understand-
ing of gender as a tool for sustainable development.
Over the last 20 years Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe has reported considerable results in ben-
efiting women and other vulnerable populations in Rwanda:
167,645 people were trained on changing attitutes vis-a-vis family planning between•
2009 and 2012;
4,396 people (1,510 men and 2,886 women) benefited of VCT (Voluntary Counseling•
and Testing) between 2009 and 2012;
164 women were trained on the prevention of TBC in 41 sectors in 3 districts. Global•
information on prevention interested 164,000 people through advertising on TV and
9,000 brochures against malaria were published and distributed;•
6,711 health workers were trained twice per year.•
12. Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe (PFTH) Synthetic Strategic Plan: key areas of
Strategic objective: To contribute to sustainable human development that is based
on gender equality and peace, promoting social justice through coordination and
advocacy. In instituting its Strategic objectives and its Action Plan, Pro-Femmes Twese
Hamwe joins countries around the world in effectively gender mainstreaming through insti-
tutional and organizational development in Rwanda and in the Great-Lakes region. This Plan
represents PF’s efforts to leverage national and international resources for the improvement
of its efficiency and effectiveness in the field and in the international community, in order
to ensure that women in Rwanda and the region have full and equal access to recovery and
development resources. The plan is intended to initiate and coordinate the commitments of
a large group of donors, which will be sensitized on the needs of PF organizations in terms of
Long-lasting insecticide net distribution by PFTH for children under 5 years old
4. Woman are ac-
tors and initiators of
4. PFTH and its stra-
tegic allies are proac-
tive in adapting and
changing laws and
other instruments to
13. What should be done?
Until now all the PF projects are financed by external donors, but it is envisaged to have an
auto-financing system allowing PF to be autonomous in the long run. PF has had its head-
quarters in Nyamirambo – Kigali since 2004. There was a proposal to renovate the building.
It is however a very old building and this option would mean to build 6 storey building ac-
cording to the city of Kigali requirements.
The initially proposed renovation would cost much more than selling the building as it is,
and constructing a new Head Office elsewhere. It is envisaged that the new Head Office will
Welcome Centre with lodgings for female victims of violence•
If PFTH does not sale now the Rwandan Government will expropriate to build a new road.
It is necessary to make a study and a business plan for the Centre of Excellence.
PFTH will have to open a tender for the assignment of the construction of the building.
The cost for the Centre will amount to USD 320000.
14. What are the opportunities for doing it?
Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe respectfully requests your consideration of a gift to fund our ac-
tions. This funding will allow Pro-Femmes to ensure that Rwanda’s most vulnerable women
• Receive assistance if victims of violence, affected by trauma and enduring severe poverty
• Gain access to clean water and improved sanitation
• Receive counselling on family planning and malaria prevention
• Participate more actively to sustainable development of the country through increased in-
volvement in political and social life
• Promote fair access to secure agricultural land, finance and technology;
• Improve their learning capacity
15.: PRO-FEMMES/TWESE HAMWE – Breakdown of received funding - 2012