Rwanda has an urgent need for a research centre to build up gender and governance capacity, according to Justine Mbabazi, Co-Coordinator of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW). She said this while speaking at the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting in New York on Wednesday.
“Rwanda has the political will to promote gender equality; it is therefore important to use that platform to create a research centre which will sustain existing knowledge and build up capacity of young researchers, that will not only benefit Rwanda but also the East Africa region,” Mbabazi is quoted in a statement released after the meeting.
Mbabazi said that Rwanda’s respect for international, regional and national goals has given the country recognition as a world leader in gender reform.
Dr Shirley Randell, Vice President of IFUW, who chaired the seminar, reemphasised Mbabazi’s comments.
“The progress in Rwanda on gender equality and women’s empowerment has been highlighted at almost all CSW forums I have attended this week, with over 3000 women and men celebrating this model of best practice,” Randell said.
She added: “People from all over the world want to visit Rwanda to study gender policies in poverty reduction, economic empowerment, health and education and zero tolerance of corruption, and to learn how this has been achieved.”
Mbabazi and Dr Randell are the Conveners of the Scholarship Committee and International Relations respectively in the Rwanda Association of University Women (RAUW).
The first President of RAUW, Ambassador Joy Mukanyange, now working as gender adviser with the UN desk on Africa, also attended the seminar. She explained that Rwanda needed to nurture indigenous knowledge that would benefit other countries in Africa.