June 17, 2024

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Gender mainstreaming: How GALS program reduced family conflicts in Kayonza District

Residents of Gahini Sector in Kayonza District, Western Province, testify that GALS-based learning has reduced family conflicts.

GALS (Gender Action Learning System) is a community-led methodology that uses principles of inclusion to improve income, food and nutrition security of vulnerable people in a gender-equitable way.

In Kayonza District, the program is applied through the implementation of Kayonza Irrigation and Integrated Watershed Management Project-Phase II (KIIWP2) in nine drought-prone sectors of the district.

Nyirahabineza Odette from the Gahini Sector, said that GALS-based learning has brought about significant changes in her family.

“After having learnt about GALS, I realized that I was using the resources to my advantage. There are things I decided to take away and those I could cut down,” she said.

Ndayambaje Jean d’Amour said that this program helped him to break the habit of hiding certain assets from his wife because he realized that this was what caused his family to be in constant conflict.

Mukandegeya Eugenie also explained that before GALS introduced she used to not consulting her children, which led to her taking over all familial work.

She said: “After attending GALS-learning, my attitudes changed and I started to tell children about my plans, they changed too, and realized that working alone will not bring us anything and started helping me with household work before and after school.”

According to John Bosco Nyemazi, the Mayor of Kayonza District, GALS program has a positive impact on the community.

“The GALS program has significantly reduced family conflicts and improve household development. Families are now united and better equipped to handle familial and financial challenges”, he noted.

The GALS program is delivered by the KIIWP project developed by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and implemented by the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB).

The goal of GALS is to address gender and social injustice in economic development in IFAD-funded projects by using an inclusive and participatory process that is itself an empowerment strategy.

GALS usually takes two to three years to complete. It is used as part of IFAD-funded projects and can also be integrated into country strategies.

It is based on a set of principles that cover gender justice and inclusion, leadership, action for change and sustainability. GALS facilitators and community members use visual diagrams to work through the process, which is conducted in three phases that are led by the community.

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