25 years after the genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda, also known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills”, is radiating in the whole world for the incredible reconstruction that it has undertaken in recent years. It is all together that the Rwandans succeeded in giving their country a new lease of life so that everyone could now live together peacefully. And Rwanda owes much of its reconstruction to the women who have enabled the country to bounce back and who have managed to become the key players in the country’s development.
When women are taking the matters in hand
The genocide that ended in July 1994 claimed the lives of thousands of Rwandans, most of them men. Women were then encouraged to replace them and to hold jobs that were traditionally reserved for men. This is how women have taken the country’s destiny into their own hands and have actively participated in its economic, cultural and social reconstruction. Thanks to their amazing willingness and significant contribution to the country’s development, Rwandan women have become examples of strength and determination for all the country’s inhabitants! And since 50% of the Rwandan population is under 25 years old and has not known the genocide, Rwandan women have ensured to teach the following generations the values of respect, tolerance and equality.
Rwanda, one of the world’s leader in gender equality
Nowadays, Rwanda ranks 6th in the World Economic Forum’s ranking on gender equality. It is the most egalitarian country in Africa and in the world on this matter, even surpassing some of the world’s greatest powers in this ranking.
Women in Rwanda hold positions of responsibility and are imposing themselves in all fields: politics, entrepreneurship, art… They play a decisive role in the country’s development and are blossoming in these positions. In Rwanda, half of university graduates are women while 65% of the girls go to school, the highest literacy rate in Africa. Thanks to various reforms and initiatives that are enabling girls to benefit from the same education as boys, gender inequality has been significantly reduced over the years. Rwanda is investing a lot in education, considered as something necessary for the country’s development.
The Rwandan government has also made gender equality one of its priorities. Since 2003, gender equality has been enshrined in the Constitution and several laws came into effect. To maintain equality in the institutions, the government has passed legislation that requires that 30% of positions in ministries and administrations must be assigned to women. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Rwandan Parliament is chaired by a woman and composed by a majority of women, a unique case in the world.
A great example for the whole world
Since the end of the genocide, Rwanda has been consistently developing. Since 2000s, the country reports an annual economic growth of more than 7% and equality is making its way. Rwanda is highly competitive in the construction and agriculture sectors and now aims to develop its tourism infrastructures to become a star destination in Africa.
Rwanda is a booming economy, but this country also stands out in the world thanks to is social success. It is hand by hand that men and women are ensuring parity and are transmitting values of tolerance and respect for others. 25 years after the genocide that sadly made the country famous, Rwanda has become an example of determination and success for Africa, and for the whole world!
Rwandan women were already making business a long time ago by sending milk or clothes, but the real difference today is that I belong to a new generation, the one after the genocide, the one that creates their own business and therefore creates jobs. I’m proud to belong to this generation. - Diane Dusaidi, Country Director of Kasha Rwanda. Testimony collected in the TV program “Envoyé Spécial” of the French TV channel France 2.
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