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The IPAR-Rwanda 11th Annual Research Conference of the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research, IPAR Rwanda took place on Wednesday 27th March 2024 at Kigali Marriot Hotel.
The conference was held under the theme “Reducing and redistribution of the burden of Unpaid Care Work as a catalyst for inclusive national development”
“We selected this theme for various reasons : First, unpaid care work is a critical topic which is currently sparking debate in the public and within the policymaking sphere, thus, it is timely for us to provide research evidence to inform this continued debate and subsequent policy decisions. Secondly, several studies have identified some gaps in existing strategies, programs and in the mindsets of people which need to be filled, to ensure recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work as part of promoting gender equality and fostering inclusive development in our country,” Said Eugenia Kayitesi, the Executive Director of IPAR Rwanda.

Around 80 participants from public institutions, Local and International Non-Governmental Organizations, private sector, universities and higher learning institutions, think-tanks and individual researchers from in and outside Rwanda with extensive expertise and proven works related the theme.

Participants discussed based on findings of studies presented at the conference and data from existing interventions meant to address the issue of unpaid care work.
The study findings presented by IPAR Rwanda at the conference indicated that women work a total of 75.6 hours per week, with a significant portion dedicated to unpaid care work. In contrast, men work 66.4 hours per week, with fewer hours allocated to unpaid care work and more time available for leisure activities.

This study was conducted under the project funded by the International Development Research Center(IDRC) that aimed at assessing the impact and scalability of holistic and participatory programs on reducing and redistributing unpaid care work among women in Rwanda. It covered six districts namely, Rwamagana, Gicumbi, Burera, Musanze and Nyabihu. The study examined various aspects, including the total weekly hours worked by men and women.

Officiating the Conference, Mr Silas Ngayaboshya, Director General for Gender promotion and Women Empowerment in the Ministry of Gender and family promotion underlined that redistribution and reduction of unpaid care work bring various advantages for both men and women and contribute to the national development. He reiterated the commitment of the government to use the findings and ideas shared during the conference to inform policies and programs.
“This conference provides a platform for sharing existing research findings, identifying gaps, and analyzing policy frameworks to inform interventions at both strategic and grassroots levels" Said Silas Ngayaboshya.
IPAR Rwanda organizes annual Research Conference in line with its mandate of promoting a culture of debate and dialogue on policy issues.