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Men urged to back efforts geared towards eradicating gender inequality

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Men have been urged to contribute to initiative aimed at fostering gender equality particularly supporting women and girls’ empowerment in ICT where they are underrepresented.

The call was made on Thursday 17th June 2021 at the Virtual Gender Café aimed at tackling issues lagging behind gender inequality.

UN Women is the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

The discussions held for the 5th time was attended by various leaders including the Country Representative of UN Women Rwanda and Fatou Lo; the Minister of State in charge of ICT & TVET Claudette Irere among others.

Fatou commended Rwanda for helping girls and women to meet their aspirations and reflected on the country’s efforts expended in ‘HeForShe’ campaign initiated in 2015.

“HeForShe” campaign is geared towards encouraging men in tackling social and cultural barriers that prohibit women and girls from achieving their full potential.

The campaign challenges governments, corporate institutions and members of the academia to commit to end gender inequality in their areas of jurisdiction.

Even though a lot has been achieved in Rwanda, Fatou observed that more efforts are still needed to maximize gender inclusion.

“As President Paul Kagame says, you cannot win a war or game while half of the team is on leave. So, it is paramount to eradicate gender inequality at this era when the world is adapting to new technologies. This requires everyone’s collaboration including men, women, boys and girls to become successful,” she said.

Irere explained that Rwanda continues to support women representation in decision making positions and promoting girls in science and ICT.

“Rwanda is moving fast towards involving more women in leadership roles. In our efforts to make sure that girls are accessing equal opportunities, we have over 23 girl schools that promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics [STEM] subjects,” she noted.

Men who attended the virtual discussions also urged fellows to actively contribute to the cause.

“The world cannot maximize gender equality without men’s active involvement. The time is now to bring needed transformations,” said Sangwa Rwabuhihi.

“Men should support women to realize their dreams especially empowering girls in ICT. Girls should also feel confident because they have potential to achieve great things like their male counterparts,” stated Aristide Mugabe, the captain of Patriots BBC.

Gender Café’ was organized to exchange ideas paving the way to reaching common understanding on solutions for gender inequality in different aspects and gender based violence among others.

These discussions coincided with the launch of a generation equality campaign organized by UN Women Rwanda themed “Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future” that backs using technology and innovation for Gender Equality.

Figures from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) show that nearly one in four girls between 15 and 19 age bracket globally is neither employed nor in education or training compared to 1 in 10 boys of the same age.

This suggests that even in childhood, girls’ aspirations for education and employment compete with gender biases in the labour market and societal expectations of girls.

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