Rwanda will, tomorrow March 8, join the rest of the World to commemorate International Women’s Day – an important day on the global calendar, in celebration of women.
In various parts of the World, the focus of the celebrations ranges from general respect, appreciation and love towards women to celebrating women's economic, political and social achievements.
Rwanda has an outstanding record in empowering women and through the national policies aimed at gender equity, Rwanda demonstrated that women empowerment works.
Over the last sixteen years, the government has set up policies that have enabled women play an integral part in the reconciliation and development path of the country.
The fact that they are key decision makers at all levels of government, has further given them confidence in life and earned more respect and dignity not only from the society, but from within their families.
Amidst the celebration, there should be time to reflect on the residual obstacles that prevent women from realizing their full potential. One such obstacle is Gender Based Violence (GBV).
GBV has always been an obstacle to women empowerment, and to realize the full potential of women, it is imperative that it is done away with once and for all. The government, Police, media, civil society organizations and Parliament have done a great job at fighting GBV.
However, there is a lot more to get done, especially with regards to awareness. The general public needs to understand that once we eliminate GBV and give women the opportunity to realize their full worth, we will not only accelerate the country’s developmental targets but also ensure that the current progress is sustained.