With the theme Inspire Change, Women’s Day this year focused on the untapped potential of women across the world. Rwandan women in Canada drew from this theme and organised events on March 8, that brought together women, young and old to discuss possible avenues to bring about change in their communities.
They acknowledged the strides Rwanda has made to empower women, saying it is a good foundation for further change-based initiative. The women exchanged ideas on some of the hindrances women face from career pursuits and education to domestic violence issues.
They resolved to take an active role in improving their communities and paving the way for future generations.
The day’s events were followed by an evening of celebration, with chargé d’affaires at the Rwanda High Commission in Canada, Shakilla Umutoni, as guest of honour.
The dinner, held in Gatineau, was well attended by the Rwanda Diaspora community and friends of Rwanda from Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton and Quebec City.
Julienne Umuhoza, president of the Rwanda Diaspora in Ottawa-Gatineau, reminded everyone present that Rwandan women are viewed worldwide as exceptional leaders.
Citing the example of the significantly high number of women in Rwanda’s Lower House, she said the Diaspora committee she heads is also testament to this, as women make up 80 per cent of the team.
She reaffirmed the decision made during the workshops— to take an active role in improving the conditions of Rwandan women.
Umutoni also praised the exceptional leadership exhibited by women in Rwanda today. She urged women to keep using the tools they have been given to better their communities.
The event was graced by some of the best Rwandan dance troupes in Canada, Indashyikirwa group and Rise and Shine. The guests were also serenaded by the group called Inkuba, who used the opportunity to compose a song celebrating the role of women in society.
Not to be outdone, Ishami Kids, which is largely composed of children between the ages of six and 17 danced their hearts out and got the crowd on their feet cheering.