Anita Mukamusoni is a 35-year-old married woman who lives in Mbazi sector, Huye District, Rwanda. She lives with her husband (30 years old) and three children: a five-year-old son and twin one-year-old daughters. Like most of the women in her village, Anita’s main occupation is farming, growing beans and maize on her small piece of land, an occupation that she does not consider to be paid work. Sometimes she participates in paid work by doing farming for others to earn money to support her family. Although there are women’s economic empowerment programmes in the area, Anita is not a beneficiary. Her husband is a construction worker and is the only person who regularly does paid work in the household. Anita cannot participate in any paid work regularly because her twins are still young and nobody is available at home to take care of them. Her son attends school, and Anita herself completed Pre-Primary education.
Anita is responsible for all of the care activities at home. The main activities include cleaning, cooking, taking care of the children, and cultivating in her garden. Her husband sometimes helps her to do care work such as caring for the children and chopping wood when he is at home in the evening and during the weekend. Anita’s neighbours sometimes help to take care of the twins when she has gone to farm for others in order to earn additional income, as there are no childcare facilities in the village. She does not receive any additional support from extended family.
Anita is aware of the importance of paid work and would like to participate in it more regularly to support her family, but she cannot due to caring for her daughters; she says,
Paid work is better because it empowers the family. Care work is very tough. Taking care of children takes most of my time. This is because the first born is not old enough to help me. Indeed, he has to go to school anyway.
Anita would like the government to create more rural employment and establish a Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme in her village so that she can benefit from the programme and get a job in it.