Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda: Evaluation of women’s economic leadership through horticulture planting material business
This report (PDF) by Oxfam, documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in March 2014 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the ‘Women’s Economic Leadership through Horticulture Planting-Material Business’ project. This project was implemented in four districts of Rwanda by Oxfam in partnership with Duterimbere, a local organization, between 2011 and 2014. The project aimed to strengthen women’s capacity for engaging in the production of pineapple planting material, and thereby to enhance women’s socio-economic status at household and community level, while also strengthening the capacity of the microfinance division of Duterimbere to provide finance and business services to women in the planting-material business. The Effectiveness Review provides clear evidence of the project‟s impact on engagement in the pineapple planting-material business. There is strong evidence that the project has enabled project participants to generate more revenue from sales of agricultural products. Furthermore, the project has had a significant positive impact on various characteristics of women‟s empowerment. Some of these are directly related to the project activities, such as the increased access to credit among participants in Nyagatare District, increased participation in producers‟ groups, and an increase in women‟s confidence to engage in business. However, there were also significant differences found in terms of characteristics less directly linked to the project activities, including attitudes towards women‟s rights and women‟s economic roles, social connections, and involvement in decision-making in the household or community. These factors suggest that the project has, to some extent, been successful in bringing about more wide-ranging changes in participants‟ position in their households and communities.