The country is commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Many are still nursing wounds that were caused by this traumatic event. However, 25 years later, the country has made huge strides in terms of transformation, though much still remains to be done. Women Today’s Donah Mbabazi talked to a number of women on what they think should be done to further transform the country.
Transformation of the country has been work in progress and everyone can see the transition from pain to hope, this didn’t happen in a blink of an eye for it took time, effort, knowledge and hard work. In all of these aspects women have demonstrated an outstanding impact on this change, there are women who decided to work in business to improve their standards of living after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and they still contribute to the overall economy of the country. There are women who are in public institutions to make sure that policies are executed effectively, there are women who are in non-government organisations that work towards building peace in our community and, lastly, we have women who represent the highest percentage in Parliament and other decision-making organs. To continue this journey, we need to ensure that we as women continue contributing to the rebuilding of our country through different sectors but also to educate our siblings, children and neighbours on peaceful existence and nation-building. We have to use our voices and power in all areas to influence change such that what happed 25 years ago, never happens again.
Amina Umuhoza, Poet
Women’s voice should be relied upon as interlocutors, mediators, and facilitators during conflict resolution for they are strong enough to speak in the name of peace. Women also can choose to be part of security organs because nowadays women are resolute and have all it requires to contribute in this aspect.
Delfine Umuhoza, Journalist
Historically, women are known for their empathy yet in 1994 this changed when some women participated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. This gives us a challenge as women today; we should give a listening ear to survivors, especially orphans. We should as well help carry their burden through acts of kindness, like visiting and providing for them where possible.
Lillian Gahima, Communications officer
Women who suffered violence during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi must not keep silent. They need to seek help from therapists or open up to the people they trust, this will give them hope and soon or later they will feel at peace and be able to share their stories.
Marie Ange Raissa Uwamungu, Founder Impanuro Girls Initiative
Women play the biggest role in shaping children who are the future of Rwanda. This makes women very responsible in what our children turn out to be because in the end this determines what kind of society or country we can have in future. The Government maybe actively be promoting unity and reconciliation but women should take up this role too and teach their children about unity so that tomorrow we don’t have youth identifying themselves with a certain ethnic group but strive to live in harmony as Rwandans. Because however much the Government emphasises it, it will not be effective if parents and women in this case (we all know the future is female as we like to call it) do not assume this role. The youth did not wake up one morning and start identifying themselves with certain ethnic groups, it happened because they grew up with parents who did exactly that. So it’s us to change that. I feel this part of the transformation of this country needs more attention and it starts from home.
Axelle Mutesi, TV Presenter