Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type

Senior Honors Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

College of Arts and Sciences

Author's Keywords

Egocentric; Social Network; Analysis; Women's organizations; Rwanda; Post-genocide development; Aid; Religious affiliations; Support; Subjectivity; Agency


Following the 1994 genocide the social networks of many Rwandan women changed. The loss of kin, particularly men, left many women needing new sources of social and material support. Beginning in the early 1990s the international development and aid community recognized the need to integrate gender analysis in their work and began to focus on women’s activism and efforts to improve the position of women in the supposed developing world. Using social network data and structured interview data gathered in Rwanda in June and July 2013 from 30 women, this study attempts to answer the question: Do women who were adults before the 1994 genocide rely more heavily on membership in women’s organizations for support than women who became adults after the genocide? The results of this study conclude, in addition to women’s organizations, religious affiliations account for a significant portion of support in the social networks of Rwandan women. Because support commonly comes from non-secular women’s organizations as well as mixed gender religious organizations international aid providers should reframe their provisions of aid to best serve both segments of society and any overlap.