Maria Mukantabana, the former Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, has been elected the first chairperson of Women’s League of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF- Inkotanyi). She will serve a four-year renewable term.
The elections that took place at Remera indoor stadium also saw Marie Mediatrice Izabiliza, a member of lower chamber of parliament elected Vice chairperson and Cécile Murumunawabo Secretary.
Four Commissioners were also elected. Francine Tumushime, the Director General in charge of social affairs in the Ministry of Local Government is the Commissioner for social affairs, while Judith Kazayire, currently working in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion is Commissioner in charge of justice.
The over 600 women from the four provinces and the City of Kigali also voted in Jeanne Françoise Mubirigi, an employee in a construction company, to serve as Commissioner in charge of development, while Laurette Birara from a non-government organization, will serve as commissioner for good governance.
“We promise that we shall not disappoint you; we shall work hard to be the RPF engine so as to also make our party the country’s engine,” Mukantabana said in her acceptance speech.
She pledged to fight against domestic violence, human trafficking and malnutrition.
Christophe Bazivamo, the RPF Vice Chairman who presided over the assembly, pledged the party’s support and called upon the women to join hands towards the country development.
“Stand up and we join hands to build the country according to our dream. We want to achieve big things in the short term but in a sustainable manner. Together, we can”, he said.
Until yesterday, the RPF Women’s League had committees that were set up in 2008 from village up to provincial level.
Bazivamo said that, in accordance with the national laws, the party’s laws also had set up committees at grassroots. The RPF National Women’s League was introduced in the new provisions of the law which was amended in August this year.
The league is composed of Executive Committees from districts. Its mandate is to unite women, sensitisation, creating awareness of the development opportunities among the members, advocacy, gender promotion and inculcating patriotism among young generation, among others.
During the congress, the women came up with several recommendations and tasked the new committee to take the lead in their implementation.
Women were encouraged to spearhead the fight against any form of segregation.
Officials who attended the congress included the Prime Minister Dr Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi, several ministers, MPs and governors.
According to Bazivamo, elections for the party’s national youth league will take place next week.