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Kate Jongbloed

Breaking the mold: Job training redefines women’s work in Rwanda

Kate Jongbloed

job training, Plan Canada, Because I am a GirlGirls enrolled in Plan’s job training programs in Rwanda are busy redefining what it means to be a woman in the workplace.

Nearly half (42%) of Rwandan youth are out of work. Without skills to meet the needs of the current job market in Rwanda’s rapidly growing cities, girls struggle to escape the cycle of poverty.

But when youth enrol in Plan’s job training programs, they learn the skills needed to make them marketable and employable. For Olive and Louise, and many other girls like them, this means getting into careers that have traditionally been seen as “men’s work.”

Breaking gender taboos

At the Amizero Training Centre in Rwanda, girls are training to become plumbers, construction workers, welders and carpenters. Empowered with the skills they need to succeed, these girls are finding respect and acceptance in fields dominated by men.

Olive: “Before it was really taboo to see a girl climbing on top of a house, but now it’s no longer the case,” explains Olive, a teen enrolled in construction at Amizero. “Now if you go to a construction site, you will find girls constructing. We have a new vision now and we want to make progress.”

Louise: “I was given the opportunity to enroll in this training and I picked plumbing,” explains Louise, a student at Amizero. “I’m confident in my work and when I’m finished my practices here, I am sure that my future will be great.”

job training, Plan Canada, Because I am a Girl

To get certified in their chosen trade, girls take a six-month training course at Amizero, followed by a 3-month practical internship. With their certificate and newfound skills, girls have a much better chance of finding jobs or starting a small business.

These pioneering Rwandan girls are not alone! Meet Gloria, the first female mechanic in Juba, South Sudan!

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