President Paul Kagame has called upon the world to include women in the development agenda, since none loses when they are empowered.
The president, on Thursday – March 8th made a 2 min 17 seconds speech to wish all women a Happy Women’s day.
He said, “Today is international women day. And I think this is something very important to talk about.”
Kagame added that the world is making important strides to empower a woman with Rwanda also playing her part.
“Good political, legal reforms and policy framework have helped spread up this progress,” he said.
Rwanda has made big strides in including women in all decision making organs, with 62% of members of parliament in the lower chamber being women. This comes as a result of a quota system which gives women specific consideration during elections.
This quota system applies in almost all positions that are voted for.
“Increasingly everyone understands that there is an unacceptably high cost to gender inequality. It is no accident that the renewal of Rwanda was also accompanied by the significant upgrades in the status. Roles and responsibility of women,” Kagame said in this pre-recorded audio visual message that was published on the official twtter handle of office of the President.
Kagame said that in all other countries where gender equality is taken seriously, development follows.
“Women are a cornerstone of prosperity of the society as a whole. Even in situations of conflicts they are in position to make unique contributions to peace and stability,” he said.
Rwanda can serve as a good example; women fought alongside men during the liberation struggle 24 years ago. After the liberation, police, military officers in UN peace keeping operations where Rwanda sends troops include women.
However, though the world is making big strides in including a woman, there is still a lot to do.
“Even so, all over the world we see that the facts on the ground still don’t reflect those good intentions,” Kagame noted.
“The recent media attention to the disturbing experience many women continue to leave with, is a wakeup call for all of us not to take the gains for granted. Indeed, there is still much more to do, to ensure that women feel safe and enjoy equal opportunity.”
“It is important to act together. Not women on one side and men on another. After all, no one loses when women and girls experience equality and empowerment.”
Kagame concluded his message with a specific address to the women. “I wish you all a very happy international women’s day.”