July 4th 1994 marked the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
This year, as Rwandans celebrated the 18th year of peace, reconciliation and development; several people had something to say, especially regarding women’s progress in society.
“We thank God for our Liberation Day because as a woman I can identify with the progress happening across the country. It is 18 years now and we, women in particular, have access to education and loans. When you look around women are driving cars, owning businesses and they have a say in parliament. This was not the case before, when women were expected to only take care of children, the kitchen and we were limited at home. I am happy that even at my age I can still go back to school. Thanks to the current Government!”
Jane Ntawanguruje, S.6 private student at Kalaganzi, Nyagatare.
“As long as we continue to steadily move ahead and believe that we are not victims but saviors, we shall continue to rise and take our place in the world. There is no challenge that this nation cannot overcome. As Rwandans we want to be powerful, feel good and strong. As we progress, we are steadily untying the shackles that have held us back in the past.”
Jayne Desire Umutesi, Client Specialist at the International Justice Mission, Kimihurura, Kigali.
“As we celebrate 18 years of liberation, we still have to realise that we are on the course to development. I encourage fellow women to have self-confidence, high esteem and to work hard. The day Rwanda was liberated, women were also liberated. We should not forget our past where we had no voice, and appreciate today where we are in leadership, run our own cooperatives and can acquire big loans to improve our standards of living. We are ready to develop our Rwanda and become an example to the world. Big thanks to this Government. Long live Rwanda!”
Mukeshimana Umulisa, Women Leader and Sub-County chief of Nyarurembo, Rubavu district.
“We have registered a lot of progress over the past 18 years of liberation. I must say all sectors have advanced. Looking at the women, they do enjoy equal rights for example; political rights, civil rights, family rights and they have access to education, which was not the case before. I thank the current government for recognising women as a force of development today.”
Cyrus Nkusi, Director General, Rwanda Youth Network
“I consider Liberation Day as the day when Rwandans understood their value. They also understood that they are entitled to freedom of speech and liberty. We must celebrate what we have achieved. This is what I have learnt from history.”
Nadine Muhimpundu, P.6 pupil, Remera Protestant Primary School.
“We greatly respect this day because we were liberated. Rwandans should respect this day because we now fully understand who we are and what we are capable of doing. As a woman in leadership, I have a lot to say thanks to women empowerment efforts. This has brought us into the light and we are recognised not only as but as women with potential but also as leaders. Thanks to this Government, we are still moving forward towards a greater Rwanda.”
Alice Ingabire, RPF President in Rugerero, Rubavu district.