The Rwanda Government’s continued commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment are yielding fruit daily. Women’s experience in leadership, gained through the political will of President Paul Kagame and his Cabinet, and because of the operation since 2003 of the Constitutional quota that 30 percent of all positions in leadership and decision making should be allocated to women, is contributing to substantial development.
This week, the Governor of the Eastern Province, and former mayor of the City of Kigali and MP, Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, a graduate of James Cook University Australia, was appointed Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General for UN-HABITAT.
Last week Senator Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba was elected the second vice president of Senate in charge of Administration and Finance.
Hon. Marie Josee Kankera was elected as the vice Speaker in charge of Administration and Finance, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, was appointed State Minister in charge of Social Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government and Emma Francoise Isumbingabo, the State Minister for Energy.
Yesterday, Senator Perrine Mukankusi was elected as the head of the Committee on Economic Development and Finance, Senator Theresa Kagoyire Bishagara was elected to head the Committee on Social affairs, Human Rights and Petitions, Senator Penelope Kantarama as deputy of the Disciplinary Committee, Senator Donatilla Mukabalisa, deputy of the Committee on Political and Good Governance, and Senator Agnes Mukabaranga, the vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security.
Women and men share equally as presidents and vice presidents of these key Senate committees in our first female majority parliament in the world.
President Paul Kagame recently spoke at the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting, calling on countries to scale up efforts to empower women.
The President, who was part of a panel discussing the theme; “Girls and Women: Scaling up what works”, said that it is up to leaders from all sectors to embrace women’s empowerment to ensure that a balance in gender exists.
“The onus is on those who have been privileged in the past; men and boys, to make sure that we address this problem of imbalance,” Kagame said.
“It is not that boys and men are doing a favour to women, it’s just making sure that they work together to play their part in their own development and the development of the country”.
It is perhaps not coincidental that today Rwanda was announced by the World Bank as the fourth least corrupt African country behind Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana, scoring well on the six parameters used to measure corruption: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption.
Rwanda provides yet more evidence of the importance of political will and quotas in ensuring that women take their place together with men in all aspects of society.