Dancilla Mukamana became a member of the Ibyiza Birimbere farmer cooperative at the insistence of other women farmers, and a loan from the cooperative resulted in increased productivity on her farm. Today, she has made home improvements such as a metal door and roof, and has become a decision-maker in her household.
Ibyiza Birimbere (which means Moving Towards a Better Future in the Kinyarwanda language) is located in the southeast corner of Rwanda in the Kirehe District, two and a half hours drive from Kigali. In 2010 the co-op leadership completed a training on gender equality and agricultural services co-hosted by UN Women and district authorities. The training encouraged leaders to think about the needs of women and men farmers and on expanding their membership, with a focus on women members. The chairman of the co-op Evariste Tugirinshuti steered the organization towards becoming a platform to not only increase productivity but also equality between men and women.
Photo Credit: UN Women/Ana Lukatela