The Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group Dr. Jeni Klugman, visited Rwanda with the aim of devising ways to further empower Rwandan women in skills development through vocation training under an umbrella Adolescent Girls Initiative(AGI).
AGI is a Rwandan initiative that focuses on promoting the economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women and other gender aspects in Rwanda.
In order to find strategies to the pressing issues of stereotype among women in Africa Klugman visited two training centers including Gahaya links and Gacuriro VTC which are among nine centers under AGI supported by the World Bank to train Adolescent Girls and Young Women in various vocational skills on April 30, 2014
Dr. Klugman outlined strategies that would make gender equality a priority through long-term policy planning.
She said linking services to address challenges facing adolescent girls and young women and having a strong private sector to empower women to do non-traditional jobs are a good solutions.
Adding that increasing access to financial services are among strategies that could help strengthen female life skills.
She indicated how Women’s Labor Force participation globally since 1990 has fallen from 57 to 55 percent.
Gahaya Links is among the nine existing AGI training centers registered with a total number of 706 trainees in three cohorts.
The AGI training component aims at providing necessary skills to support approximately 2,025 adolescent girls and young women in two urban and two rural districts of Rwanda (Rulindo, Gicumbi, Gasabo and Kicukiro), to enable them establish themselves in profitable small enterprises.
Gaculiro VTC is another AGI training center offering Culinary Art and Food processing. This center is registered with 246 trainees in three cohorts, the first one having completed.
One of the trainees in Culnary Art Vestine Uwimana 17, expressed how acquisition of skills in food preparation and cooking has enabled her exceed a fear of doing business that can support her and the family though she is still of young age.
As the AGI project nears its completion phase in December 2014, the steering ministries; Ministry of Gender & Family promotion and Ministry of Education are now thinking of making a transition so that the project does not phase out completely
About 622 trainees have already completed in 8 centers and formed 61 cooperatives. The World Bank adviser on Gender also stressed the need for women to access productive inputs to earn income as their male counterparts as a way to reduce persistent economic gaps.