First Lady Jeannette Kagame said that Rwandan women play a critical role in the country’s healing and reconstruction process.
She made the comments in a publication that appeared on the Oprah.com website of famous American television personality and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey.
In an interview conducted by Celina Schocken, the Population Services International Director of International Organisations, the First Lady explained how Rwanda is defining itself in the post-Genocide era and the role Rwandan women are playing in healing and development of the nation.
PSI is a leading global health organisation with programmes targeting malaria, child survival, HIV, reproductive health and non-communicable disease.
“Although we still have a long way to go, we have to keep fighting for girls and women without forgetting that in many of our countries, especially in Rwanda, where we had to start from zero, boys also need to be supported and men needed to be mobilised to be part of the struggle for healthier, better-educated families,” Mrs Kagame is quoted as saying.
She observed that Imbuto Foundation has over 1,000 disadvantaged boys and girls on its scholarships, and with the understanding that girls face specific barriers to performance, each year, the organisation rewards the best performing girls in every district to motivate them towards academic excellence.
The First Lady attributed the prominent role of women in Rwanda today to the conscious decisions made by the post-Genocide leadership, which understood their importance and supported their active participation in all aspects of the nation’s development.
The First Lady mentioned that attitudes among ordinary Rwandans, especially men who view women as undeserving to hold official leadership positions, have changed.
“The attitude has gradually changed, and we are all the better for it. This shift has come about mainly because Rwandan women have contributed positively to the country’s development,” she added.
“The women’s positive contributions to different aspects of society have won them the confidence of men and society at large, who now view women as true partners in nation-building”.