About 38.1% of the Rwandan population lives below the poverty line and communities from rural areas and marginalize groups were found most exposed to poverty. These communities’ poverty often stems from limited access to markets, education, quality infrastructure, employment opportunities, health, and financial products. Beyond the fore mentioned barriers, for marginalized communities comes also discrimination, stigma, isolation, lack of participation in decision-making, and more stereotypes related to poor mindsets and misunderstanding.
Unemployment, lack of gainful employment opportunities, poor social services, drug abuse, and depression are key challenges affecting Rwandan youth who make up over 70% of the population. However, the level of unemployment is still rising leading to negative socio-economic impacts such as exploitation and Gender-Based Violence. These high unemployment rates result from several factors as; inadequate work readiness and employability skills due to non-market responsive education, skill-jobs mismatch, little to no opportunities, poor labor market information systems and linkages, and less comprehensive policies and strategies.
Much effort is being invested countrywide to increase women’s participation in decision-making and the country’s development; but, despite this enormous invested effort, due to different factors men’s employment is still higher than women’s and this has always been resulting poor participation of women, family violence, conflicts, involvement in illegal trades, poverty and other numerous negative impacts