Visually impaired women expect change in social inclusion services

By Elias Hakizimana

Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) launched a new project aiming at strengthening gender and social inclusion amongst women with blind disability in Rwanda.

The project entitled ‘Engendering the visually impaired women in Rwanda into social services’ was launched on August 22, 2017 in Kigali with the support of Rwanda Governance Board and the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP).

Dr Patrick Suubi, RUB Legal advisor said the support will mainly look the development of a visually impaired woman, increasing awareness of the project and coordinating different institutions which will play a significant contribution in implementing the project.

Dr Donatille Kanimba who represents the RUB elaborated some of the reasons why the project was set up and said that the main goal is to sensitize visually impaired women to feel interested in works dedicated for them and to see their presence in Rwandan community as well as the country’s politics.

Dr Donatille Kanimba addressing participants during the launch of the project (Elias Hakizimana)

“In this project, we realized that once we fail to deliver services to all people, we still see discrimination and stigmatization, segregation and you know that these crimes are legally punished.” Kanimba said.

She highlighted that the project will first see visually impaired women and that participation is key to achieve the EDPRS 2 set by the government.

One of the areas in which the government will increase efforts is to present the negative sides of some people who are wrong doers without making rebellion, but through the right way,” Kanimba noted.

Kanimba said that the project will cater for education of the child-girl with visual impairment by increasing their knowledge which will help them to adapt to their maturity life when they are married.

The one year-project will also help RUB to identify and count visually impaired women countrywide to tackle their problems.

As part of the project, trainings will be offered to women with visual impairment and their families as well as government institutions in offering services which leave no one behind.

According to RGB’s official Olivia Kabatesi, the project is good to develop gender equality through different institutions.

Kabatesi pledged more support for RUB to ensure the works of visually impaired people are developed.

She also said that the development of women and child-girl has priority during the next seven year government program.

However, Umuhire Umutoni Rugwe who was representing UNDP said that nothing can be achieved without considering men’s contribution as far as gender equality is concerned.

“Let us consider men’s contribution in all we do when catering for women. We will not achieve everything with money only, let’s partner together and money will come for implementation of what we have planned together,”

Brigitte Izabiriza, an expert in charge of gender in Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) said that there are some issues that need solutions apart from other achievements they met.

Izabiriza noted that such problems will be considered to get solutions by highlighting them in the budget.

Brigitte Izabiriza in charge of Gender evaluation in GMO talking to journalists on August 22,2017 (Elias.H)
Some of the participants to the launch of the project (Elias Hakizimana)


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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,( is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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