Chadian Minister for Women, Protection of Early Childhood and Solidarity, Dr Djalal Adrjoun Khalil, has praised Rwanda’s women empowerment initiatives and early childhood development policies.
The Chadian official was speaking to The New Times on Thursday while on a study tour with her team to learn about promotion of gender equality and women empowerment in Rwanda.
Minister Khalil noted that she has learned a lot during her stay, especially from Nyagatovu Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Family Centre as well as Women’s Opportunity Centre, which are all located in Kayonza District, Eastern Province.
Visiting Nyagatovu’s ECD that caters for 119 kids, Minister Khalil stated that she was pleased by how both male and female parents participate in their young children’s education and development at the centre.
“I was happy to be with (the) children and see how they are looked after, educated, especially with their parents’ presence; not only their mothers but their fathers too,” she said.
She said programmes taking care of young children’s development, “are a very generous policy that Rwandans owe to President Paul Kagame who has done a lot for this country.”
She said not only should President Kagame be appreciated by Rwandans, “but we as Africans also appreciate him.”
“We wish to establish all good practices that we have seen here. We have some [ECD] centres but that are not as well organised as you have done it here,” she said.
At Women’s Opportunity Centre, the women get trainings on business and handicrafts, among other opportunities, to increase income for their households.
Women empowerment has positive impact to their families, the minister observed.
“A woman is the mother of the family, and if she is economically self-sufficient, she can get rid of many challenges, take care of her family for a wonderful life, and also for a better social life in the country,” she explained.
However, the minister said that Rwandan women faced low social, cultural, traditional or religious constraints like their Chadian counterparts.
“In Chad, we have many ethnic groups that have different cultures, many cultural and religious points that keep a woman from other ways; she is at home and must look after her children. It is the father who has to bring food, and if the father refuses to bring the food at home, it is a big problem,” she said.
Minister Khalil said it is the reason why they look to fight for women empowerment policies, so the woman will be able to play a greater role in the family.
Meeting the delegation earlier this week, Rwanda’s Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari, said that she considers women’s rights as human’s rights, clarifying that gender equality and women empowerment has been achieved due to the political will from the top leadership of President Kagame who is also a He4She campaign champion.
“Satisfaction” is the most used word by Khalil to describe how she enjoyed Rwandans’ hospitality.
Minister Khalil also described how Rwanda bounced back after 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“It should be an example for the world, not only Africa,” she said.
Her advice for Rwandans is to keep loving their country, and praying that the peace they have today be sustained.