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Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have


This year’s women month theme is ‘Embrace Equity’ which to many means recognizing and valuing everyone’s unique needs and experiences, and actively working to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources.

It’s about creating a more just and fair society where everyone can thrive, regardless of their background or identity. By embracing equity, we can build stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

It is what Clare Akamanzi, CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said while giving a speech on the Women’s day celebration organized by Education First partnering with the Mastercard Foundation and Norskeen East Africa.

As discussions centered around hospitality, technology and many other things, Akamanzi said that the idea of a revolution without gender inclusivity is unattainable. She said, “It starts first with representation.”

She demonstrated how the government of Rwanda has been doing thus far to build an economy that is gender inclusive and equitable. Through different examples she demonstrated how Rwanda is on the right path.

She said, “We know that we still have a long way to go for an equitable economy but the trajectory is promising.”

The trajectory is great indeed. Even Though they are quite few, there is women representation in various sectors in Rwanda such as the Financial, ICT and the Tourism and hospitality sector, the journey is worth it.

Though certain industries such as Tourism and Hospitality are challenging for women, it is important to note that they are represented and that their challenges are not going unnoticed and are being addressed.

It is not just about addressing the present challenges it is also about building equity throughout the sector. Building equity throughout the tourism and hospitality sector means creating an environment where all individuals, regardless of their background or identity, have access to equal opportunities and resources.

This can be achieved by promoting diversity and inclusion in hiring, training, and leadership, as well as by providing equitable wages, benefits, and career advancement opportunities.

By prioritizing equity, the tourism and hospitality industry can create a more welcoming and inclusive experience for all guests and employees and ultimately contribute to a more equitable and just society.

Some of the women that were representing the hospitality sector mentioned that it is important to foster an environment in which women can feel safer and heard.

Sonia Iraguha, the co-owner of Bicu Lounger, mentioned that it is important for women to work in a safe environment in which they can also merge their plans with.

She said, “As a young woman, you need to plan and be transparent. Do not hide your plans and merge them with the organization’s overall plan.”

It is not just about the Hospitality sector, there is also a need to identify a way in which technology be used across all sectors to drive gender equity.

Technology can be a powerful tool to drive gender equity across all sectors. It can be used to promote equal access to education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as to address gender-based violence and discrimination.

Technology can also help to reduce bias in hiring and performance evaluations which women such as Agnes Kubwimana have experienced. Tech can enable more flexible work arrangements that benefit both men and women.

Sangwa Rwabuhihi mentioned that technology can also drive the success of young women.

He said, “Beyond training and capacity building, young women need the devices, internet connectivity, and access to the material that will make them succeed.”

It is something Oriane Ruzibiza, the Country Manager of Education First, mentioned as well. She said, “ If you have to support women, you need to have the actual tool that will make them access information online. You need to also adjust to their schedule as some have side gigs, children and their families to run.”

There are quite a few challenges women are facing along the way to their success that need to be addressed and given solutions to.

Overall it is important for different sectors to adjust to what women and men need. It is not just about achieving equal opportunities, it is also about building equity just so men and women are on the same level.

This involves giving women an extra stool that they might need to succeed in the workplace.

Straight out of Twitter