Fast Tracking Gender Equality in Law in Rwanda: Comprehensive Legal Analysis of Gender Compliance under Rwandan Laws

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The Comprehensive Legal analysis of Gender Compliance in Rwandan Laws was conducted by the Legal Aid Forum (LAF) in 2020 with financial support from UN Women, with a two-fold aim: (1) reviewing laws that may discriminate explicitly (de jure) or implicitly (de facto) on the basis of gender, and (2) identifying any remaining gender gaps to be addressed by relevant institutions so that Rwanda eliminates all gender discrimination in its laws. Qualitative data was collected through interviews with key stakeholders, and through focus group discussions (FGDs) with key actors. This allowed for the verification and cross-checking of findings, as well as identification of enforcement-related gaps where laws are not being enforced, or where laws that are not themselves discriminatory are applied in a way that leads to gender discrimination.

Findings suggest that Rwanda has made significant efforts to prevent gender-based discrimination and promote equality between men and women. Despite these commendable efforts, some gaps still exist in the laws in force, as well as some practical barriers that hinder the full attainment of equality between women and men. This report’s key recommendations include (1) the repeal or amendment of several Rwandan laws that discriminate de jure or de facto on the basis of gender (including the law governing labour, the protection of the child, and succession), (2) awareness raising and capacity building to improve gender gaps in implementation and enforcement of certain laws, and (3) the ratification of key ILO Conventions related to advancing gender equality.

Gender equality; Gender-based discrimination; Legal analysis; Rwanda.

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