Liliose Munyana is a 42-year-old married woman who lives in Musanze District, Rwanda. She has three children: two daughters (aged 20 and 8) and a son (aged 4). Liliose attended Higher Secondary school and her daughters both now attend school. She is a member of ActionAid’s Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programme and also works on her own farm. She typically does eight hours of paid work a day and her husband, aged 47, is a teacher of Year Nine basic education.
At home, Liliose does most of the care work including caring for cooperative animals, cleaning, washing clothes, cooking, fetching water, farming, and taking care of the children. She also takes care of the elders in her family, who live separately from them.
Liliose’s daughter helps her to fetch water, collect firewood, clean the compound and take care of her siblings. She also cooks food when her mother is not at home. Liliose’s husband supports them in different activities such as farming, rearing animals and taking care of the children. Liliose is happy to have her husband’s support, explaining:
Even my husband replaces [me] when he is around. For example, in the past, when I had left for VUP [Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme – the Government of Rwanda’s flagship social protection programme] training where I spent two weeks, he is the one who took care of the family and performed all care work at home, like cooking and looking after the children.
Liliose finds it difficult to get time to rest due to the volume of her care work. She explains, ‘in fact, I am always busy with lots of care work at home and other duties since I am the president of the self-help group.’ In addition, both her daughter and husband find they don’t have time to rest and hence get tired. Liliose explains the challenges that she faces:
Combining both paid and unpaid care work has made me feel so overworked since it is a lot for me. Combining both has also caused me to get home late since most of the time I have to attend discussions [about] different issues of the group.
Liliose feels that childcare should be shared among the community. She also thinks that the funds she gets from the WEE programme should be raised, as she needs more funds in order to sustain her family. She would also like the government to provide loans and fertilisers to increase agricultural yields and to provide clean water in the village.