Skip to main content

Talking Gender: With Alida Irakoze

Q How should Gender roles be changed to balance the status of both men and women?
A Balancing the status of men and women will not be brought by changing Gender Roles, instead gender roles should be well defined, developed and respected by both parties to ensure a balanced gender community. Traditionally, it has been perceived that there are tasks done by men that can’t be done by women. This retarded the function of many households, hence affecting both community and country development in general. 

This was proven by many cases where boys would be educated but leaving out the girls, as the 'expected' role for females would be "home-caring" whereas men were the ones to plan and get involved in all political and social- economic activities. Psychologically, this increased women’s vulnerability, depriving them of the rights to think further, plan and participate actively in developmental activities. 

However much the physical status of men and women can't be changed due to nature, it can not be a reason for putting men on the forefront in some of activities. As we are in the world of science and technology, even construction and military occupations that were perceived to be sectors that required a lot of physical strength have evolved with today’s world civilization and development. This should therefore go hand in hand with Women's Empowerment and gender balance should as well be raised by focusing on the mutual division of labor based on ones proven knowledge and skills. This should all be reinforced by  open communication between the two genders. 

Q Are the rights of women in your country respected and protected well enough?
A Rwanda is among the countries that are leading by example in relation to respecting Women's Rights and Empowerment as shown in the leadership approach where women in Rwanda constitute more than 40% in parliament! Girls' education has been uplifted and they prove to be among the best performers.
Rwanda is promoting and practicing equal rights to both boys and girls, however there are still cases of gender based violence, despite a tremendous decrease. Sensitization and the reinforcement of gender and Women's rights policies are needed to ensure they are respected. 

Q In your opinion, what should be the priority for resolving Gender Issues in Africa?  
A In Africa, gender equality advocacy is perceived to be negative for existing culture and values. Men see it as a way to raise women’s voices over them and promote women to disrespect their husbands. With this perception among others, it brings resistance to adapt gender concept in some of African communities.
As a way forward, our priority should be to provide clear definitions of Gender, to develop guidelines and policies adapted to each country and to establish strategies to reinforce the policies put forth.


Popular posts from this blog

Call For African Youth Activists

What is an “Ignite Activist”? ­ An Ignite Activist is a high powered​ and ambitious young African individual. They are patriotic about their own country and the African continent as a whole. They are keen to speak out, share their opinions or experiences, and are always ready to defend the well-being of the African Youth! As vocal youth activists, they strive to not only lead the conversation on African Youth, but to ignite young Africans into Change-makers!
About Our Youth Activism Program ­ For a period of up to 6 months, corresponding youth activists will be engaged under the leadership and guidance of our International Panel. While there will be a formal set of activities, youth activists will have the liberty to call upon fellow members towards a particular cause, post and share articles or video messages to make themselves and their views heard! After 6 months of voluntary service, these members will be accorded with Alumni status and receive adequate recognition for their selfle…

Bisharo Ali Hussein (Somalia) - African Youth Role Model Series

Bisharo Ali Hussein is a Kenyan-Somali activist and outspoken champion for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Somalia. She channels her activism through her career as a Protection Officer for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Galkayo, Somalia and also served as an African Youth Activist of Ignite The Youth from 2015 to 2016. As an Ignite The Youth activist she shared on the youth experiences of conflict in her country and “Ensuring Access to Education for all”. Her most spirited campaigns however were part of her Women’s Rights agenda; which focused on demanding an end to Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage, and her advocacy for Gender Equality; arguing for gender-biased inheritance laws to change. Bisharo is currently pursuing her Postgraduate Diploma in ‘International Gender Studies’ at the University of Iceland.
Almost 2 years after serving as a corresponding activist for Ignite The Youth, Bisharo insists that Somali women remain one of the most vulnerable groups in…

The African Youth Commission [PROFILE]

"From Internet Community to One Governed by a Constitution"
The African Youth Commission (AYC) was founded in November 2013, as the African Union Youth Working Group (AUYWG), at a Youth Consultation on Agenda 2063 in Tunis,Tunisia. From 2013 to 2015 the AUYWG collaborated via an active mailing list, for the 2 years of online interaction the network invited numerous African Youth Leaders in the continent and diaspora. The working group later changed into a Commission as the cause of the network evolved by consensus to create a youth mirror to the African Union Commission. 
"The main objective of establishing the Commission is to organize all young people in Africa and support the work of African youth, Youth structures (Pan African Youth Union & Youth Division of the African Union Commission) in their quest to effective service delivery and advocacy activities on the African Youth Charter..." - AYC
At this point the Commission proceeded to draft its o…