Women should use available opportunities and their potential to play a bigger role in making the country better starting from their nuclear families and contribute to social economic development of the country.
The First Lady Jeannette Kagame made the call yesterday while presiding over Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Women League Congress, which is a prelude to RPF’s 30 years anniversary celebrations which will be held later this month.
Officials said that women’s dignity and rights have been restored, and today they are active in sectors that were previously male dominated such as, pilots, soldiers, police officers, mechanics, and engineers.
The congress for the Women League was attended by over 2,000 women representatives from across the country.
Mrs. Kagame said that women have values that they were deprived over the decades and have high representation in various government institutions, and an opportunity to develop the country.
She said that despite women representation in all government institutions, and the fact that women represent 52 percent of the entire population, there is still a long way to go to make the country more developed than it is today.
The First Lady said women are the core of families, homes, and the nation, stressing the fact that they would not shy away from responsibilities to raise future generations, who will become future leaders and contribute to the development of the country.
She said however, that the country needs people who work harder and faster, in all sectors and that women are the driving force.
“We as women are represented at the highest level across institutions in the country. Let us leverage this to realise our full potential,” she told the gathering at RPF headquarters in Rusororo sector, Gasabo district.
Engage men in development
The First Lady said that for women to contribute more in the development of families and the country as a whole there is need to engage their men counterparts, as it not easy to do it alone.
“Given the development pace of our country, no sector should lag behind. We must ensure collectively that all sectors develop. Development can’t be achievable if 52 percent play no clear role. However, we need to engage men as well to look for solutions together,” she added.
RPF pioneer cadres hailed
First Lady hailed RPF pioneers who looked far and founded the party against all odds, and paid tribute to parents whose children gave it all to liberate the country, many having paid the ultimate price.
“RPF Inkotanyi gave us a nation, many sacrificed themselves in one way or another. Those who fought, those who engaged in mobilization, children who became orphans and parents who became childless,” she said.
“The reward for those families and orphans is to build a strong family, and to train our young people so that they become future leaders of the country,” she noted.
Oda Gasinzigwa, a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and a long time serving cadre talked about the role of women in the liberation journey, and in the national transformation.
She said the liberation struggle was not an easy task, but it was the only option as Rwandans had been deprived of their rights, and were living as refugees.
The bullet struggle is over but we still have to fight another struggle, to always keep working hard, and maintain RPF principles,” she said.
She also urged women and Rwandans in general, to fight poverty and to strive for the social economic development, which remains the hardest struggle to fight.
“RPF cadres said enough is enough. RPF ideology was to discuss together, think together and seek solutions together. Women were not left behind but became full members, and had patriotism and commitment, thanks to the mobilization that bore discipline,”
“Women fought the liberation struggle directly and indirectly, women carried guns, walked long distances, spent sleepless nights and went hungry. Others offered treatment for injured soldiers and those who were left behind took care of children and extended families, and preserved Rwanda dignities” she said.
Sakina Uwimana a mother of eight from Gicumbi District said building families should be done in conformity with nation building.
“As women we should not be useless, we should use the opportunities we have, even with the challenges of financial capacity, we should work hard to build our families, our society and our nation,” she said.
The Women’s League Congress, comes after the RPF youth congress, which was held last week. These events will be followed by the National Congress slated in December.