Women and the road to emancipation

Women’s role in building society in the past was insignificant. The truth is that they were not given a chance to participate in the affairs of society.

When we look at women in the past, they were limited to household duties.

In our motherland, Rwanda, women were not allowed to attend any meetings where men sat to discuss affairs of society. Instead, they were expected to be occupied with home duties, like preparing meals and organising the home. This wasn’t because they were better suited to perform those activities, but because it was a stereotype that women were ‘mentally weak’ and therefore had nothing serious to bring to the table regarding developing society.

The girls in the home were also given ‘homely’ roles and inheritance was strictly for boys.

However, thanks to our government, our girls and women are now bravely making their way to equality. Rwanda has made tremendous progress in this regard and women are now actively involved in the running of their communities and country at large.

Women are empowered and have equal opportunities today. In education, girls are stepping up and taking on subjects that were once labelled ‘for boys’.

Everything we have achieved in equality wouldn’t have been possible without good governance. And we salute the prominent women who are acting as role models for our young girls, like Louise Mushikiwabo, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rwanda, now Secretary General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

Mugabo is an aspiring writer from Nyagatare Secondary School

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