Six civil society organizations working together since 2011 decided to join forces and launch the Rwandan Coalition for Women’s Access to Land (CRAFT- French acronym for Coalition Rwandaise en faveur de l’Accès des Femmes à la Terre).
The founder members of CRAFT are six local registered national and international non-governmental- organizations, namely:
Association for the Defense of Women and Children’s Rights (HAGURUKA); Association Nzambazamariya Veneranda; Association of the Genocide widows Agahozo (AVEGA); Réseau des Femmes oeuvrant pour le développement rural; Rwanda Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (RRP+); and RCN Justice & Démocratie (RCN J&D).
This alliance, which encompasses civil society organizations striving for the socio-economic development of rural women in Rwanda, is the first platform in Rwanda working on this issue.
This coalition will be aiming at “coordinating the advocacy efforts from member organizations to promote policies and laws for equal access to land property, management, administration and use for all women, and especially the most vulnerable”, according to a press release co-signed by Odette Musengimana, Executive secretary, Réseau des Femmes Oeuvrant pour le Développement Rural and Margot Tedesco, Analyst and Communication Coordinator, of RCN Justice & Démocratie.
According to the same press release by the launched platform-CRAFT-its intentions is “to create awareness among the public and among civil society on the social and cultural barriers women face when trying to access land, and to make recommendations to counteract them”.
This platform will also be “able to act as a driving force for the enhancement of the policy framework, and as a key partner on equal land access for women”. Some of the problems that prompted to the formation of this platform are that “land rights of many women are poorly or not protected-despite significant progress of Rwandan legislation concerning women’s rights during recent years” according to a report by Rwandan National Institute of Statistics (NISR), published in 2013.
To reach these goals, the CRAFT members will organize during the upcoming year several discussion forums and set up research activities on the effectiveness of women’s access to land and the barriers they are facing.
Association for the Defense of Women and Children’s Rights (HAGURUKA)
Rwandan non-governmental organization created in 1991, striving for children and women’s rights by proving legal aid. HAGURUKA is also engaged in the promotion of and advocacy for children and women’s rights in Rwanda.
Association Nzambazamariya Veneranda
Rwandan non-governmental organization founded in 2000. Its mission is to promote initiatives related to social justice, peace and sustainable development.
Association of the Genocide widows Agahozo (AVEGA)
Rwandan non-governmental organization. Since 1995, it strives for the development and reintegration of Genocide widows into Rwandan society through improving their psychological and economic conditions of living. It is also engaged in the national reconstruction and reconciliation process.
Réseau des femmes Oeuvrant pour le Développement rural
Rwandan non-governmental organization created in 1986. Its mission is to empower rural women so that they are fully involved in the transformation of their lives and become actresses and vectors of a positive change for the durable sustainable development.
Rwanda Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (RRP+)
Rwandan non-governmental organization founded in 2003 that promotes and coordinates the activities of associations of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. RRP+ advocates for care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS to the Government of Rwanda and the donor community, and it contributes to the reduction of the socio-economic impact imposed by HIV/AIDS on people infected and affected by the disease.
RCN Justice & Démocratie (RCN J&D)
Belgian non-governmental organization founded in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. Since 1994, RCN J&D endeavours for the strengthening of justice delivery, the prevention and resolution of conflicts at local level that undermine social cohesion and sustainable development.