Rwanda Association University for women (RAUW) is an association which was formed last year in July by Rwandan women who have completed their university studies.
The association is composed of 267 members, comprising women who have completed university studies and female students from various universities in the country under the age of 35.
RAUW was admitted as a full member of IFUW (International Federation of University Women) last year.
IFUW is a non-profit, international women’s non-governmental organization working locally, nationally and globally to improve the status of women and girls, to promote lifelong education, and to enable graduate women and girls to use their expertise to effect change in society.
IFUW was founded in 1919 by women from the USA, Canada and Great Britain and today has more than 160,000 members in 81 countries and individual international members in over 50 countries.
According to its president, Ambassador Joy Mukanyange, she says “the main objective of this association is to help women develop their carriers.
Mukanyange says that the association is geared towards helping women in their social aspects, as this will help members in their training of career development.
Recently, some members of RAUW returned from abroad where they had gone for further studies, for courses in masters studies as part of an initiative by IFUW to equip women with necessary skills.
Peace Murungi, a staff member of the Rwanda Institute of Administration and Management who had gone to study a Masters degree in Business Administration at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands says she was happy to meet members of the Maastricht Branch of the Netherlands Federation of University Women (VVAO) as well as attending several meetings.
“We shared different experiences particularly on the different activities and objectives of each of our organizations,” she says.
Murungi said the members of Maastricht are more focused on social activities like: organizing tours around Netherlands and nearby countries, conferences and workshops including periodic gatherings, to learn from one another how to prepare certain types of dishes among others.
These activities, Murungi says are designed to provide members with both an opportunity to socialize and to address gender issues through conferences.
Dinah Musindarwezo, another beneficiary of the programme and a member of the association, who went to UK for a masters degree in Gender issues says,” it helped me gain a lot on things concerning feminism and its really good that people in the country where I was, know that Rwanda is a country which promotes gender equality as its known world wide that we have 49 per cent women representation in Parliament.”
Musindarwezo says this is something which is promoting the country and she is proud to say that in things relating to social aspects; Rwanda is well above many countries which made her love her country even the more.
For Odette, also a member of RAUW who on her part attended the International Conference on Women and Peace in Texas in July, was hosted by the Costa Rican Association of University Women, (ACMU-Asociación Costarricense de Mujeres Universitarias).
ACMU’s Bina Roy project is a Dental Health Project for Women and Children, a dental clinic for pupils of the Elementary School, which provides dental treatment and instructs the children and their mothers in oral hygiene and dental care.
According to the President of RAUW, the organization is planning to organize a big conference at the end of this year to be held in Rwanda.