The Speaker of Parliament, Rose Mukantabana, over the weekend, held talks with a delegation of members from the European Union Parliament on girls education and gender-based violence.
The Speaker briefed the European MPs about the country’s stand on fighting gender-based violence and the laws in place to deter the vice. The talks also centred on the country’s family planning strategy.
On their part, the European MPs commended the progress Rwanda has made in the emancipation of women as well as the general progress the country has made, observing that Rwanda’s achievement on the empowerment of women are impressive.
“The European MPs commended the government for the efforts to ensure that all women have the basic needs in life and ensuring the social welfare of orphans and widows,” a statement from the Speakers office indicates.
The MPs are in the country to assess the status of reproductive health, discussing with various levels of governance on the country’s family planning strategy and the lessons Rwanda can offer.
The delegation is also keen on finding out facts on the country’s girl child education policies, reproductive health, girl child protection from GBV and the different steps the country has taken to protect women from different kinds of discrimination based on gender.
Mukantabana highlighted the various successful programs and policies, put in place over the past decade, to empower women.
“Rwanda has been putting a lot of efforts in empowering the young persons but particularly the girl child. We wanted to ensure that girls enjoy their full rights and be accorded the dignity they deserve,” Mukantabana observed.
The Speaker informed the legislators that in the past, the society treated women lowly and discriminated against them, but all this has changed, thanks to the government efforts.
“The objective of these police is to develop the country but most importantly is to ensure that the girl child is part and parcel of this process. Girls should have their full rights to education and everything else, and be part of the decision making process,” she said.
The speaker, however, noted that while there are still challenges, most of which are rooted in the traditions and stereotypes that exist in the society.