Kaggwa Kalule is the chief executive officer and chairman of Diva Afrika Awards, the organisers of Diva Awards Rwanda, which is slated for September 27, 2013 at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Moses Opobo sounded him out on the upcoming pageant…
Tell us about Diva Awards Afrika
Diva Awards Africa is an annual project which was established with the primary aim of encouraging women to actively take part in all productive endeavors of life. This was to be achieved through recognising, appreciating and awarding women (DIVAS) that perform outstandingly in their different fields of work.
After a successful pilot Divas Awards in Uganda; we felt that we needed to spread the awards to other parts of Africa, starting with Rwanda. We have chosen Rwanda as the next destination for DAAF, for a number of reasons:
The Government of Rwanda has maintained a solid commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Achievements in this area such as the number one record of representation of women in parliament, the highest levels of women in decision making and other leadership positions have been a result of this commitment.
Additionally, Rwanda’s experience has shown that in order to achieve sustainable development, women and men must work together. This even resonates with the Rwandan saying that, “The woman is the heart of the house.”
It is that deliberate attitude of the government and people of Rwanda towards the empowerment of women that attracted our decision to bring the awards to Kigali.
Why only women?
We at Diva Awards Afrika do appreciate that whereas women have unique abilities, talents and a vital role to play in the development of our societies, they also face unique challenges. In many African countries, women have been largely marginalised as a result of stereotype mentalities as well social-cultural perceptions towards them.
Women have had to juggle between their household “responsibilities” and their career efforts and aspirations! For example, a woman who gets pregnant several times in her life, carries a baby for nine months and has to nurse the same baby all her life, will most probably have to work extra hard to compete with her male counterparts who don’t go through the same.
It is against such a background that we felt it important to recognize feminine achievement. By awarding outstanding women achievers, we send out a signal to other women out there that it is possible for a woman to scale the heights.