The head of European Union Delegation to Rwanda, Amb. Michael Ryan, yesterday, met with Parliament Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa to finalise the agenda for an upcoming visit by EU lawmakers to the country.
The visit, scheduled in September, according to officials, will focus on Rwanda’s success stories on matters of gender equality and other scheduled which can be used as best practices elsewhere in the world.
Speaking to the media shortly after the meeting, Amb. Ryan stated that eight parliamentarians will be in Rwanda on September 20, to discuss gender issues and get first-hand impression of the ‘‘great work’’ that Rwanda has done in that regard.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for our parliamentarians to come and share experiences, I think Rwanda has the best record in the world in terms of having majority of women represention in Parliament, so, I am here to prepare the ground,” he said.
“Upon arrival they will need to look and learn how gender issues are managed in this country, (look at the) civil society and NGOs and how other various groups articulate, advocate for gender issues, and how to secure gender balance in society.”
According to Ryan, the lawmakers will spend half a day at Parliament, where they will meet with lawmakers on the committee in charge of gender issues.
They will also take note of projects that have scored highly through the promotion of gender balance before they hold a roundtable discussion with various groups, the envoy added.
Speaker Mukabalisa said that the lawmakers to visit sit on a committee in charge of gender, and the visit is part of efforts to strengthen cooperation between Rwanda and EU bloc, particulary in the area of parliamentary diplomacy.
“The ensuing positive cooperation also boosts parliamentary diplomacy. We will all have to agree on which projects to visit to make sure they will have a fruitful tour,” she said.
Women constitute 64.5 per cent in the Lower House; 40 per cent in the Judiciary while in Executive at least 43 per cent of district councilors are women.
President Paul Kagame was last month awarded a gender award from the African women movements for championing women rights and empowerment on the continent.