Theses Bachelor's

Itegeko Rirusha Ibuye Kuremera: A Critical Analysis of the Challenges the Public/Private Divide Poses to Rwandan Labour Law Through The Figure of the Domestic Worker

Tayi, Malaïka

On the global stage, Rwanda is broadly known for two phenomena: The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the outstanding efforts taken towards gender equality, more specifically, the representation of women in parliament. This symbolic representation has not been reflected in the day-to-day lives of many women in Rwanda who work in positions of informal employment with limited legal and social protection. By nature, domestic work takes place in the privacy of the home, rendering it challenging to regulate and monitor through legislation and public policy. Characterized by low pay, long hours, and poor working conditions, domestic work continues to hamper Rwanda’s efforts to achieve gender equality.

This study aims to describe and analyze the ways in which the public/private divide emphasizes the challenges faced by female domestic workers in Kigali. By employing a qualitative descriptive study design, I have looked at national policy documents and conducted interviews to understand how the law is created and implemented for domestic workers. Information derived from published policy documents and information obtained through interviews were triangulated.

By drawing on the critical perspective of African Feminism, this paper argues that the public/private divide is not a neutral concept but rather reinforces existing power dynamics and social hierarchies of gender and class if not adequately considered when creating and enforcing legislation. Thus, this paper contributes significantly to understanding the challenges and opportunities of addressing the public/private divide in the context of domestic work in Kigali, Rwanda. It offers critical insights for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners working towards the realization of human rights for all.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Holland, Tracey M.
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
October 4, 2023