Located in Africa’s Great Lakes region, Burundi is a small land-locked country, with scarce natural resources. 90% of its 9 M inhabitants live in rural areas. Women play a major role in Burundi's national economy and represent 55.2% of the workforce. They are particularly active in the agricultural sector which provides for 90% of food production and 90% of the country's export.
Burundi's Constitution provides for a 30% quota of women in the Government, National Assembly and Senate in an aim to promote women's political participation. The country has made significant progress in the representation of women in electoral decision-making positions since 2010. Despite these improvements, women are still facing numerous challenges.
Burundi has faced poor governance, cyclical and socio-economic crises throughout its history that have exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities.
From 2014, UN Women’s interventions in the country focus in building community-level resilience by reinforcing women’s economic empowerment and strengthening their effective participation in peace, security and humanitarian processes using gender-transformative approaches that challenge gender-based norms and assumptions.
The comparative advantage of UN Women in Burundi has been acknowledged by government, donors and other stakeholder, based on its leadership in supporting the development of the National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council Resolution 1325, building women’s leaders capacities, elaboration and dissemination of the Women’s National Agenda on Peace and Development; and the significant results achieved by community women mediators in social cohesion and conflict prevention.
UN Women is mandated to work with the government and all stakeholders including CSOs, UN Agencies, Youth Associations, among others to ensure gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE) in Burundi; to implement the UNDAF and achieve Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16, and ensure no one is left behind.
Women’s economic empowerment
Building on regional and country experiences, UN Women in Burundi focuses on improving access to productive resources such as land and loans for women living in rural and sub-urban areas for creation of a conducive environment (both legislative and institutional) for women's access to resources, access to market, finance and technology to achieve women empowerment.
Women leadership and participation in peace and security and humanitarian action
UN Women in Burundi has focus on four interlinked interventions : Leadership, Violence against women and girls, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Humanitarian Action in conflict-affected areas and support the realization of SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16 and 17. Our goal is to promote gender policy and legislative frameworks in political decision-making for women leaders, particularly at local level; to ensure transformative prevention and access to essential and comprehensive services; to promote women’s engagement and effective participation in mediating and resolving conflicts; and to ensure that humanitarian/crisis response planning, frameworks and programming are gender responsive.