Editorial: Rwandan women deserve their liberation

A female RDF officer shouts instructions during military parade at the Kwibohora25 celebrations at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali yesterday. / Emmanuel Kwizera

YESTERDAY, Rwandans celebrated 25 years of liberation and putting an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that cost the lives of over a million people.

There is no speaking of Rwanda without invoking the Genocide; all life stopped in 1994 when all demons descended on the country and life stopped. One hundred days later, a new country arose from the ashes, a country that dared to dream, and against all odds, set the tone on what nation building should look like.

One can only dream of what Rwanda was all about before the Genocide, when matters hygiene had no real importance and healthcare a luxury and where women had no place in society but mere possessions.

It is difficult to believe that before 1994, a woman could not open a bank account without the consent of the husband and he had a final say on it.

A woman could also not inherit property, only male dependents were considered for inheritance.

So for woman today in Rwanda, Liberation Day has a double meaning, they are celebrating 25 years of an extreme makeover of their rights.

Some time ago, an international survey showed that Rwanda was one of the best countries to be raised as a girl.

The fact that we have the largest female representation in parliament globally was not by accident but by design. But even without the affirmative action, where 30 per cent of posts are reserved for women, the results of women empowerment would have made a loud statement.

They should all consider the date as the beginning of their emancipation.

Happy liberation to all Rwandan ladies.

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