Rwanda has won this year’s global Women in Parliament Award for her efforts in empowering women politically. The accolade, awarded by Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP), was announced last week.
It was due to be received by the Speaker of Parliament, Donatille Mukabalisa, during a three-day women Parliamentarians forum which started yesterday in Brussels, Belgium, according to organisers.
MP Alphonsine Mukarugema, the president of the Rwanda Forum of Female Parliamentarians (FFRP), and MP Francis Kaboneka, are also attending the meeting.
Mukarugema told The New Times that: “This award means a lot in terms of gender equality. Many countries are learning from us.”
“The upcoming summit will be a platform for us to talk about what a majority women parliament means,” Mukarugema said, adding that the participation of women in politics is an issue of great significance when it comes to national development.
Women constitute 64 per cent in the Chamber of Deputies.
Rwanda’s ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, Robert Masozera hailed Rwanda for the award.
“It comes as a recognition of the efforts made over the past two decades to promote women participation in our country,” he said, adding that women have played a crucial role in the reconstruction of Rwanda.
Other winners in the categories of political empowerment are; Norway (women at ministerial level), Ireland (years with female Head of State) and Jamaica (legislators, senior officials and managers).
The awards ceremony will be preceded by a plenary session on reshaping society through female leadership.
Globally, female underrepresentation persists at all levels of society. Only 20 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide are women. Traditional social norms, gender stereotypes and biased perceptions of women’s effectiveness in leadership roles are still widespread.