Home Institution

Georgetown University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding


As part of its reconstruction process following the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda introduced several laws and policies protecting gender equality, which stood it stark contrast to traditional patriarchal norms and structures. This study focuses on the relationship between institutional gender reform and local perceptions. Specifically, it seeks to explore the extent to which perceptions around gender have caught up to legal changes and identify where the greatest gaps exist across political, social, and economic dimensions. Data collection occurred in two parts: quantitatively, a multiple-choice survey was distributed to 76 Rwandan adults investigating their perceptions of gender in political, social, and economic spaces. Qualitatively, structured interviews were conducted with three Rwandan gender experts in order to supplement and better explain survey findings. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicated that the greatest gaps between gendered laws and perceptions exist at the social level, with the least in economic contexts. Analysis also revealed that overall, level of education was associated with more congruity between gendered laws and perceptions, while both sex and age were independent of responses. Based on these findings, this study provides recommendations for closing gaps between gendered laws and perceptions, and suggestions for further areas of study.


African History | African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | History of Gender | Law and Gender | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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