Everyone is born equal – How GALS achieves gender-transformative results in Kayonza

Everyone is born equal – How GALS achieves gender-transformative results in Kayonza

The GALS program has positively impacted 8,300 people in Kayonza District, resulting in 3,300 instances of economic progress, improved household workload distribution, and enhanced relationships among spouses

Gender Action Learning System (GALS) is a change process that uses a set of tools made of visual diagrams that are introduced at various stages.

The goal of GALS is to address gender and social injustice in economic development efforts through an inclusive and participatory process which represents per se an empowerment strategy.

The methodology aims at empowering men and women to achieve a better and happier life.

It uses simple mapping and diagram tools for visioning and planning to empower men, women and youth to make changes in their lives

In Kayonza district, the targeted families were combined and classified into 240 groups. While the major cause of the conflict identified in the families included financial abuse and property mismanagement, the program educated and introduced schemes to put the threats to end.

Initiated by Kayonza Irrigation and Integrated Watershed Management Project (KIIWP), by the Government of Rwanda through its Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, with the support of the International Fund for Agriculture Development.

The key focus of the initiative is to analyse and breakthrough gender-based barriers and change gender-based inequalities at the individual and family level as challenges that prevent participants from achieving their vision.

Community-led empowerment methodologies, participatory processes, and diagram tools enabled families to embrace their economic vision, uphold gender equality, and manage resources, restoring family cooperation for development.

Oddette Nyirahabineza, a Gahini resident, shares how education helped her restore good relationships with her spouse, enabling them to share the same economic vision for the family.

“GALS evacuated us from the domestic conflicts, propelled our love and other domestic development. I have been with my husband for 18 years, relying on farming to survive. However, though we could harvest, the money generated from the harvest was wasted without having prior plan for its usage. But following GALS education, we have now set a vision for our future”.She said.

The family has purchased a plot of land worth Rwf 700,000 and another plot of land worth one million francs for a banana plantation since starting their new journey.

“The knowledge was so important. I realized the problems with my family which enabled the changes”. She said adding that she has committed to sharing the knowledge with almost 300 peers.

Pascal Ntirimeninda acknowledges that GALS education enhanced relationships, affection among spouses, and the sense of responsibility among them.

“Before the program, I could bring home grass for the livestock but none else could feed them except me. Due to such irresponsibility, I could leave the house and find the cows starving when I am back, while the grass feed is there”.  He said, recounting how his family was in severe conflict, irrespective of their Christianity status.

John Bosco Nyemazi, Mayor of Kayonza district, praises the GALS program for its support in reducing domestic conflict in the district.

“Supported by local authorities, civil society organizations, and faith-based organizations, efforts in awareness and education have led to noticeable changes in conflicts, with plans to continue promoting mindset change”. He said.

According to him, the district is targeting 600 illegally living couples to encourage them to adopt legal marriages, while local authorities and partners evacuated over 890 families in 2023.




Johnson NDEKEZI is a Journalist covering all topics in the Entertainment World as well as Political and current Affairs.

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