ISARO Project

ISARO Project

Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

CARE Rwanda's ISARO project is based on gender equality and women's empowerment. It is part of the 8 country, NORAD funded Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Project (GEWEP). GEWEP is a gender transformative project that adopts approaches to build equitable social norms, institutions and structures, alongside promoting gender-equitable behaviour change at the individual and household levels.

Through effective strategies to understand, challenge, and change inequitable social norms, ISARO-GEWEP ensures women's meaningful participation in every aspect of decision-making processes that affect their lives, and improves their social, political and economic empowerment. 

The project links women with information and services related to gender-based violence (GBV), through a network of community volunteer Case Managers and Peer Educators. It focuses on delivering a comprehensive package of community-level interventions, using Village Savings and Loans (VSL) groups, established with CARE Rwanda support, as an entry point for interventions on family planning, GBV, advocacy, governance, literacy, engaging men and climate change. ISARO-GEWEP has been scaled-up to operate in all 8 districts of the Southern Province of Rwanda.


For further information, please see the attached document. For an evaluation of the project, please see the ISARO Project Evaluation under the "resources" page. To learn more about the models used for this project, please see the Models page.

Project Achievements

Some of the project's achievements are as following:

  • 100,000 VSL groups members (80% of whom are women) are directly strengthened to participate in sustainable economic opportunities and linked to market and financial services at local and national levels 
  • Women have an increased capacity to make decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health
  • Community-based and managed mechanisms and strategies for the prevention of GBV, and the support and protection of victims are established and supported by local authorities
  • Women and men at the grassroots level, as well as local civil society organizations, have increased skills and capacities to carry out evidence-based advocacy on GBV (and conflict)
  • There is increased participation and representation of women in decision-making processes and structures and household and local levels (village, cell, sector, and district)
  • Implementing partners have increased institutional and technical capacities
  • Increased functional literacy and numeracy among ISARO program participants for their social, political, and economic empowerment

Project downloads

Project Info

  • Start Date: 2012 January
  • Donor: NORAD
  • Program: Vulnerable Women Program
  • District: Gisagara, Huye, Kamonyi, Nyamagabe, Nyanza, Ruhango
  • Number of beneficiaries: 100,000


Models used:

  • VSL Model