• Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Burundian women face many obstacles to good living conditions


Dec 4, 2022

BUJUMBURA December 3rd (ABP) – “Like African women, Burundian women, both rural and urban, face many obstacles that prevent them from escaping precarious living conditions,” said the new Burundian Ombudsman, Mrs. Aimée Laurentine Kanyana. She was speaking last Friday at the “Women Leaders and Liberty Forum 22” jointly organized by the Burundi Development Agency (ADB) and Center for Development and Enterprises (CDE- Great Lakes). That Forum was organized under the theme: “Private sector, engine of economic growth and inclusive development” by several women leaders from different sectors of national life.

Indeed, Mrs. Kanyana notes that the economic sector seems less conducive to women: “If we limit ourselves to the socio-economic framework alone, it seems less favorable to women,” she said. Indeed, she added, despite their demographic importance and their dynamism in the productive processes, especially in the field of agriculture, women are not valued in their rightful right. The vast majority continue to bear the disproportionate burden of discriminatory culture, poverty and illiteracy,” she said.

In that same perspective, the Burundian ombudsman makes another bitter observation concerning the level of education of Burundian women: “In addition, the female labor force is poorly qualified. 67% of women with an occupation are, in fact, without any level of education and they are the most sought after in the agricultural sector, which is more difficult and low-paying,” she lamented.

Mrs. Kanyana also deplores the fact that women are less present in the modern sector, where they represent only 35.6% and occupy generally low-skilled positions or work in the informal sector, while also mentioning the difficult access to loan.

Despite those obstacles, Mrs. Kanyana commends the current efforts of the government of Burundi to consider women as pillars of development. That is why, she informed, he has taken steps of great importance to improve the rights and empowerment of women. “We are very happy to see that today the place of women in political institutions is more important (Government, National Assembly and Senate)”, she continued. In addition, the government, aware of that difficult access to credit, has set up the Women’s Investment Bank.

In addition, the new investment code (June 2021) grants many advantages to women entrepreneurs, appreciated Ms. Kanyana. For this reason, she remains convinced that the economic empowerment of women could constitute an unwavering basis for the implementation of the National Development Plan (PND): “Our deep conviction is that improving the rights and empowerment women’s economy are undoubtedly the pillars for the effective implementation of Burundi’s PND by 2027”, she said.

                                                                            View of the participants

For his part and on the same occasion, the Director General of the ADB, Mr. Didace Ngendakumana pointed out that African women in general and Burundian women in particular, face many challenges of a structural, cultural, legal and regulatory issues that lock them into a life of precariousness and prevent them from being real actors of development. Anti-inheritance customs and practices, cultural and economic barriers, difficulties in accessing land and the banking credit system are all factors that hinder the economic development of Burundian women, he added. However, he articulated, they are important from the demographic point of view, they are dynamic in the production processes especially in the agricultural sector and have a great role to play for the development of their household and the country. That is why the government of Burundi has started raising awareness of the pooling of means of production by promoting the creation of cooperatives aimed more specifically at the entrepreneurship of young people and women, he reassured.

The Executive Director of CDE-Great Lakes, Mr. Aimable Manirakiza, for his part, indicated that the Women Leaders and Liberty Forum is the major meeting place for women leaders in parliament, in public-private institutions, in the world of business and academic, aspiring businesswomen and the rest of the women leaders in the different sectors, in order to exchange but also reflect on the economic miracles around women’s rights and what it means to be a woman who fights to succeed in her sector.

The Forum also brings together inspiring women who have achieved great success in their field of expertise so that they can inspire others to believe and keep hope for a better future in Burundi, he explained.