Women need to vote a presidential candidate who will guarantee their rights, women leaders have said.
In an interview this week, Francoise Uwumukiza, the president of the National Women’s Council, outlined demands that await candidates in the August Presidential polls, including women empowerment and guarantee of women rights.
Uwumukiza said reflecting on where Rwandan women have come from, consolidating these achievements would be least demand from any candidate.
She urged women to play their role in preparing voting stations and decorating them with handcrafts to ensure conducive voting environment.
She said, in conjunction with the National Electoral Commission, they have been meeting more than 3,000 women of different categories in leadership for civic education, including sensitising them to participate and play their role in elections.
“Our elections are based on peace and development we have achieved so far,’’ Uwumukiza told Saturday Times.
The National Women’s Council is a social forum where girls and women pool ideas in order to solve their own problems and to participate in the development of the country.
“Candidates for elections must follow Rwandan cultural values. Once elected, they should know that gender balance is essential for women to take part in decision making on various developmental programmes,’’ Uwumukiza added.
Updating voter status
Marie Mediatrice Umubyeyi, the public policy and advocacy coordinator at Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe, a women’s rights organisation, urged women to check themselves on the voters’ list since the update is still ongoing.
Ernest Bucyayungura, the programme manager at Pro-Femmes Twase Hamwe, said they are working with the National Women’s Council and local leaders across the country to ensure all women are given clear information on elections.
Women are good dependable leaders, we hope they will vote the right candidate, Bucyayungura said.
The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion has established strategic linkages with the national women’s councils, whose base at the grassroots level provides for important linkages between policy and implementation, ensuring that women’s concerns are integrated in national policies and programs.
According to the National Electoral Commission, 54 per cent out of the 6.8 million registered voters are women.
The National Women’s Council boasts of organised structures from the grassroots up to the national level, and provides for women’s participation in local governance at all administrative levels.