Rwanda has made a firm commitment to gender empowerment in the social and political realms, a goal which was highlighted in the 2003 Constitution and Vision 2020, adopted in 2000.
Education for all, achieving gender parity in higher education, and practicing a policy of affirmative action to promote women’s educational and social advancement are designated as policy priorities for realizing the development goals of Rwanda.
Historically, Rwandan girls and women were marginalized from the educational system, and largely excluded from participation in public life.
Girls’ schools were introduced close to 40 years after the boys’.
Furthermore, girls’ education focused on developing skills which reinforced their socialized roles, such as secretarial skills, home economics and general hygiene, while boys were prepared to become administrators.
Today, the government has made it its business to encourage girls to do well at school and achieve high grades.
Parents, community leaders and the general public are sensitized about the importance of taking girls to school and making sure they don’t drop out.
The First Lady, women parliamentarians and women in high level positions have embarked on country wide tours, visiting and speaking to girls in schools who look up to them as role models.
Statistics from the Ministry of Education are a tangible signs that the efforts are now bearing fruit.
More girls are not only completing school, but also doing subjects – like engineering and technology – that were wrongly perceived to be man’s domain.The campaign is working and it has to be kept up.