On Monday, the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) and the Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum (FFRP) held a meeting aiming at enhancing their partnership and information sharing on gender matters.
According to Oda Gasingizwa, the GMO chief gender monitor, the cooperation with FFRP must go beyond what it is today. "We have been submitting reports to your institution, but we know that we need you to do more. You are the ones who summon government officials, please make sure that gender is taken into account in their respective institutions," she explained.
She also asked FFRP to add value to gender policy's implementation. "We need to ask ourselves, what we can do to sustain what we have already achieved. Thereafter, we can easily decide the way forward," Gasingizwa said, adding that FFRP members are in a good position to help, given that they are members of different parliament's committees dealing with laws in various areas. "Through your respective committees, you can make sure that gender is taken into account in all the sectors."
The chief gender monitor also called on women parliamentarians to use their regular field visits to gather information that can be of use to the GMO. "We want them to investigate about gender-related issues," she explained. "For example, there are many gender-based violence cases that we get to know about when it's too late; they can help us with that. It's their duty to help changing mindsets since their voices are widely heard, so they can make good use of them in promoting gender equality."
Alphonsine Mukarugema, FFRP's chairwoman, supported the need to reinforce the partnership between the two bodies, sating that gender equality is a cross-cutting issue which calls for a good collaboration between institutions.
According to senator Marie-Claire Mukasine, MPs support to the GMO is guaranteed. "The senate is the country's place for high-level of policy analysis; whenever GMO reports to us, we will react," she said, adding that FFRP is assessing whether there are sufficient skills in terms of gender analysis in ministries, provinces and districts of the country.
Hon Mukasine also appreciated the fact that GMO has already begun participating in budget planning, "which is a good start," she remarked.