Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Review Workshop

In Musanze District, Rwanda from 9-12 December a group of sector experts gathered for the Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Review Workshop. The workshop was organized by GGGI Rwanda in collaboration with Ministry of Infrastructure.  In attendance there were participants from Musanze District Executive, Vice Mayor of Musanze, Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) , Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) , Road Maintenance Fund (RMF), Rwanda Energy Group(REG), Rwanda Transport Development Authority (RTDA), Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) , Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) , Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) , National Women’s Council , Rwanda Women’s Network, and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

The three-day workshop specific outcomes were to revise the Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy document integrated with indicator matrix and monitoring and an evaluation plan; and thereafter validate and publish the Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy document for utilization and distribution to key stakeholders.

In 2017 Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) with support from GGGI developed the Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy (IGMS) ,which was validated by different stakeholders including the “gender machinery” (i.e. Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion and Gender Monitoring Office). However, with the development of the National Strategy for Transformation (NSTI) in 2018 as the main strategic planning tool for the Government of Rwanda, new socio-economic development targets and interventions have been set inclusive of gender and family promotion as a cross-cutting area. It is in this light that the current Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy had to be revised, to align with NSTI gender equality ambitions and strategies. In similar spirit, GGGI has provided technical and advisory support to the Ministry to review the current strategy to be fully aligned with NSTI targets/interventions and other government endeavors for mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion.

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is working with governments partners to identify transformational green growth potential through policy, financial vehicles and investment projects in support of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).Green growth provides a powerful vehicle for modernizing economies while simultaneously reducing inequalities and safeguarding natural resources and ecosystems. Addressing barriers to gender equality requires bold leadership, innovations, and broad, cross-sectoral engagements. Transformational change happens through deliberate strategy, resources and actions.

The Government of Rwanda has shown commitment to gender mainstreaming across ministries, and GGGI has supported the adoption of a Gender and Social Inclusion Framework into the National Roadmap for Secondary Green City Development.

In her opening Remarks Vice Mayor of Musanze District Vice Mayor Axelle Kamanzi encouraged the participants to align their planned activities when giving input to the context of the IGMS Strategy with the development agenda and sustainable development goals in order to reach the larger community. The workshop was an opportunity for the sector organizations to review the draft Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy of 2017 and suggest modifications in context and content ; and link the strategy to planned socio-economic development interventions outlined in NST1 and infrastructure Sector Strategic Plans (SSP) of Transport, Energy, Water & Sanitation and Urbanization and rural settlement.  The discussion began with presentations from each sector representative, Antoine Niyitegeka from MIGEPROF elaborated on Rwanda’s Gender policy looking at MIGEPROF mandate, Background of National Gender Policy and priority areas.  Priority 1: engendering national sector policies planning frameworks and strategies in Public and Private sectors ; Priority 2: Women’s economic empowerment. Priority 3: Gender parity in Education, health and social protection sectors. The 2nd Presentation by Mugiraneza Modeste , representative from Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) focused on  the best-case examples of gender mainstreaming in Rwanda and key results.

3rd presentation was made by Nuwamanya Emmanuel , representative of MININFRA, showcasing the progress made in mainstreaming gender in all sector policies, programs and strategies to promote gender equality and women empowerment in the sub-sectors. Furthermore, giving a summary of the main outcomes of the proposed Matrix for Indicators to Mainstream Gender in Infrastructure looking at:

Outcome 1: Enhanced Individual and Institutional Capacities in Gender mainstreaming.

Outcome 2: Increased access to job opportunities across the Infrastructure sectors

Outcome 3: Increased access to basic Infrastructure and Services

Outcome 4: Minimized social risks during Infrastructure projects’ Implementation

The sub-sectors representatives gave detailed presentations such as the findings from the Energy Sector Gender Audit ; the potential gender barriers and benefits in Transport projects ; areas to be included for Human settlements for example access to decent accommodation for low income earners especially women and options of affirmative action. With high priority being given to facilities that cater  to women since they are affected by water and hygiene sanitation issues.

Ms Inhee Chung , GGGI Rwanda Country Representative applauded all organizations that involved in promoting gender parity and said she was equally encouraged by their active participation and meaningful contribution towards inclusiveness of gender equality , acknowledging both men and women need to continue to empower each other”

The second days discussion and group exercise was led by  Daniel Ogbonnaya ,GGGI Lead Programme Co-ordinator and  Bertha Wakisa, Senior Officer :Gender and Social Development Safeguards, Poverty Reduction, Social Inclusion based in GGGI Seoul . The two facilitators gave an elaboration and guide on the existing IGMS strategy ; gave the participants a practical group exercise to evaluate the existing draft IGMS strategy and thereafter developed the matrix indicator of the IGMS strategy in each sector (energy, transport, water and sanitation and housing).

Upon completion of the group exercise several commitments were made to rephrase and amend the existing IGMS strategy content and review specific deadlines and deliverable that can be aligned to the interventions in NST1. Participants also mentioned that there is a need to create mechanism that can qualitatively measure if women are  satisfied with their jobs in order to realize if they are making a difference in helping their communities.

There should be stronger coordination between Gender Monitoring Office GMO and other departments within MININFRA for better synergy for a long-term strategy. To enhance capacity building , participants were advised that  the four sectors need to  work together by giving students consolidated internships and rotations  giving them the opportunity to attain the necessary skills and knowledge in all sectors to make an informed choice to continue with their graduate schools.

At the end of the workshop it was agreed that the next steps will be to complete the indicator matrix and share with facilitators and leading institutions. Include all the required and updated data for the IGMS strategy and enhance collaboration and communication with all the involved sectors for better  planning and coordination.