The Ministry of Family and Gender Promotion (MIGEPROF) and gender activists have jointly formulated the 3rd National Action Plan (NAP) of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 for Rwanda. This plan is set to be executed from 2023 to 2028, with a budget exceeding Rwf15 billion.
The plan aims to deal with gender inequality, sexual and gender-based violence and mainstreaming gender into peace and security structures.
The UN resolution seeks to address the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women, women’s underrepresentation, and undervalued role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and peace-building. It also stresses the equality and full participation of women in peace and security organs.
The gender activists have called for an increase in the number of Rwandan female peacekeepers that are deployed to different conflict-torn countries so that they take a share of at least 35 per cent.
National Action Plans (NAPs) based on UNSCR 1325 are crucial tools for governments to ensure gender equality, women empowerment, and an integrated gender perspective into all aspects of conflict prevention and peace processes.
The NAP was developed in 2018 but launched in 2019.
Rwanda has already adopted two National Action Plans (NAPs) aimed at promoting women’s role in peace and security.
The 3rd version of the national plan for Rwanda focused on evaluating the progress made since the implementation of the previous action plan, addressing gaps, and setting new goals to further advance gender equality and women’s participation in peace and security efforts.
The action plan, to be implemented over the next five years, is organised under five overarching pillars, namely, participation and leadership of women in decision-making; prevention of violence against women and involvement in conflict prevention; protection from violence; equal access to means of relief, economic recovery and rehabilitation; and women’s promotion and gender mainstreaming in Rwanda’s foreign service and international and regional cooperation.
Stakeholders from the government, security organs, independent expert civil society organisations, the private sector, academia, and independent researchers on peace and security participated in developing this plan.
According to a UN report, Rwanda ranks 5th among 121 countries with a bigger number of peacekeepers.
However, according to a joint statement by MIGEPROF and civil society organisations working on women empowerment, only 1,000 female peacekeepers have been deployed since 2004.
“There is a need to increase the number of female peacekeepers given their deployment has become fruitful over the past years,” the Director-General of Gender Promotion and Women Empowerment at the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion in Rwanda, Silas Ngayaboshya, said in a statement.
He stressed that more women are needed on the frontline since they play a big role in the restoration of peace and rebuilding society after conflicts and wars.
Verdiane Nyiramana, the Executive Director at Benimpuhwe Organisation, stated that the 3rd version of the action plan seeks to ensure that more female peacekeepers are deployed to help end violence against women in zones affected by conflicts and wars.
“If you consider how women and girls were violated and raped during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, you will realise that there is a need to increase female peacekeepers in different countries,” she said.