Rwanda has been ranked highly in terms of economic development and other aspects including social welfare of its citizens in the past few years. A lot has been said and critics seem not to understand why the development seems to continue unshaken despite many hardships that Rwanda shares with other African countries.
It is possible that the government’s decision to push women to competitively vie for government offices could be the secret behind it all. This is due to the fact that women accomplish a lot in their work as will be shown, something that other countries have failed to realize.
There is no any other way this kind of development can be explained. It is just eighteen years since Rwanda came from a devastating genocide which left it on its knees. Many had labeled it a failed state, but it rose from there to be a wonder and a model in Africa due to its extraordinary ways of doing things.
In Rwanda’s 2008 elections, women won 45 out of 80 parliamentary seats, making Rwanda the first country in the world where women make up the majority in parliament.
Rwanda’s 2003 constitution reserves 24 parliamentary seats (30%) for women, but due to empowerment, women were able to Win an additional 21 seats. This shows the prominence of women in Rwandan society today.
Like I pointed out in the beginning, more striking than the percentage of Rwandan women in parliament is what they have been able to accomplish since coming into office. The genocide left many women widowed and without rights. They were not allowed to own property or even open a bank account.
Women in parliament drafted a new bill to give Rwandan women rights to land inheritance and more provisions for family protection. Additionally, Rwandan women in parliament successfully moved rape into the most severe category of crimes committed during the genocide.
They have been behind most of the legislation that have brought Rwanda to the forefront in ensuring economic stability and social welfare.
The women’s ability to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable cannot go unnoticed.
All these elements put together bring out the argument that the reason why Rwanda is moving ahead so fast is the fact that it has allowed the mothers (women) who really understand everyday issues that affect society to not only be involved politics but to hold some of the highest offices in the land. And this is what makes Rwanda tick.