Eight women who have excelled in their respective fields were on Sunday awarded various prizes by Women of Will Africa.
The prizes, that included eight frames and Black Berry phones, were given to the best performers in the areas of academia, artistry, self empowerment, ICT and business.
The awards ceremony took place during the launch of the first Rwanda Women Festival in Kigali.
Students and teachers from various schools attended the ceremony. They shared testimonies on how young girls have been inspired and changed positively.
Handing over the prizes, the vice-president of the Women Will of Africa, Cecile Uwizeyimana, said the awards were given based on the women’s achievements.
“We need to instill confidence in women. They must understand that they are of extra value to society,” she said.
Alphonsine Mukeshimana, a paralysed woman who won the award of empowerment shed tears of joy.
“I thank God for this. I got an accident in 2004 and thought my life had ended. My two legs were amputated but now I wake up daily and work from home,” she explained.
Mukeshimana operates a hair salon and says she earns over Rwf30,000 per day.
Lauren Makuza, the director of culture, promotion at Minispoc called upon women to strive for excellence in various disciplines, saying they are as capable as their male counterparts.
Speaking at the same function, Aurore Umutesi Kayibanda, the former Miss Rwanda said women need to overcome the perception that some jobs are a preserve of men.
“I am studying civil engineering which is regarded by many as a masculine discipline. You can also be an excellent construction worker,” she told women.