KIGALI -Efforts to empower women should focus on education as a way of enabling them to realize socio-economic development, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya.
The Minister was speaking yesterday ahead of the March 8, International Women’s Day celebrations.
“National development cannot be realized without fully involving women. The previous regimes treated them with little value despite women constituting over 50 percent of the population. You can imagine the consequences of neglecting this population,” Mujawamariya said.
The Minister noted that, although a lot had been achieved in gender equality, especially in political participation and other areas, a lot remains to be done.
She mentioned that the majority of women still live in poverty and need assistance, stressing that full empowerment can be achieved through educating women.
Meanwhile, Aurélie Gahongayire, a woman parliamentarian, commended the achievements in promoting gender equality.
“Achievement is evident in sectors like leadership representation and business. In parliament, women outnumber men, while laws guaranteeing women inheritance rights have been enacted,” she said.
Juvénal Nkusi, another parliamentarian, said that previously, gender issues were mostly verbal, but today, it is more practical than never before.
Meanwhile in an interview, Simphrose Mukamazimpaka, a woman entrepreneur who owns a hotel in Huye, attributes achievements to good leadership which give voice to women.
“In the past, women could not easily own a major business like a hotel due to either inferiority complex or social barriers. Bad leadership and cultural traits undermined women and made gender based violence a normal occurrence,” she said.