I would like to comment on a letter that was published in yesterday’s issue of The New Times. The author, Charlotte Kamaliza explained how Rwanda has done a great job in empowering women over the last 17 years. Unlike in the past when the place of a woman was the kitchen, it is gratifying that women have broken the barrier and fully take on traditionally male-dominated roles.
However, like Kamaliza pointed out, a lot more needs to be done by women leaders to help rural women join the mainstream of society.
Rural women are at times battered by their husbands, their daughters are raped yet they keep silent for fear of alienation. Education has the power to change this; in fact, ensuring a girl’s education is the fastest way to eliminate many of the other challenges women face. An educated woman is more likely to be a part of the workforce. With an education, she can bring new and innovative strategies to the agriculture industry—an industry in which rural women form the backbone—and increase the prosperity of the entire community. This is thus a challenge to women leaders to establish advocacy groups based in rural areas to speak on behalf of ordinary women there by promoting initiatives geared towards getting them out of their predicament now and in the future.