Women Cooperative in Rwanda
Photo credit: Oxfam

WomenCooperativein Rwanda

Creating sustainable livelihoods for women in Rulindo and Gicumbi



Following the genocide in 1994, when more than 800,000 people were murdered and an estimated 2,000,000 were forced to flee, Rwanda was left traumatised and depopulated, and its economy, crippled. Despite that, the country has experienced rapid economic growth and poverty reduction during the past two decades.

The government is committed to ending inequality, encouraging girls’ education and putting women in parliament and other leadership roles. At 64%, Rwanda has the highest number of women MPs in the world. But this fast, top-down development has left many poorer women behind.

The Cooperative

Agnus Nyiramana (53 yrs) feeds her pigs in her newly built piggery in Gicumbi District, Northern Rwanda. 4 piggeries have been built each with 5 pigs. built

This project, led by Oxfam and its local partner, the Catholic Diocese of Byumba, will support sixty women in the district of Rulindo, eighty percent of whom are widows, and enable them to increase their income.

With the assistance of Oxfam and the Catholic Diocese of Byumba, the women will create a farming cooperative. Each woman will be given a pig and will learn about pig rearing, cooperative management and development of sustainable income generating activities. The workshops will be led by local experts, including vets, agronomists, farmers, and Rwanda Cooperative Agency district staff. Once their pigs give birth, each woman will give a piglet to another woman in the Gicumbi district, thus doubling the number of families benefiting from an increased household income.

Promoting gender equality

The project also aims to change attitudes towards women in both districts by creating the Ishingiro Community Radio Programme. The programme will discuss violence against women and gender equality and will reach approximately 10,000 listeners.

The Circle is funding this project in partnership with the David Williamson Rwanda Foundation.