Supporting women to achieve land rights in post-war Rwanda

Following the civil war, the status of many women in Rwanda was hindered as a result of poverty and the loss of men in households. Women’s ability to secure land was one of the ways in which women suffered drastic economic and social losses following the war. The Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN) is a national non-governmental organisation working to improve the condition of women throughout the country. It works to combat women’s lack of access to land, and the economic and political exclusion it causes, a residue of traditional practices in Rwanda, as well as an effect of the 1994 genocide. Through the creation of safe spaces for women, documentation of their issues, the provision of legal aid for women, and sensitisation of communities on women’s rights to own land, RWN ventured to change perceptions on such social issues as women’s land rights, HIV/AIDS infection, the status of single women, and women’s ability to work and be breadwinners for the family. 

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Annette Mukiga (RWN), Elisabetta Cangelosi and Amira Kheir (ILC Secretariat)