Today is International Women’s Day. It is a celebration of the political, social and economic achievements of women, globally. In Rwanda, there are real-tangible reasons to celebrate.
Last year, Rwandans went to polls and achieved a women majority in parliament. This is a first, and it is obvious that in the area of women empowerment, Rwanda is setting the pace.
Thus women, have been able through deliberate efforts by the national leadership and most importantly, by their own efforts to participate in the decision making process as regards issues of national governance.
There are also many women holding positions of responsibility in the corporate world. Everyday when one walks into banks, hotels and other offices, one meets hardworking ladies who are in charge of their destiny.
It is no longer a given that women must depend on their husbands for sustenance, as many are taking on roles traditionally reserved for men.
All this has helped to show what is possible for women and other hitherto marginalized groups. However, all that said, though women have made tremendous strides in political, social and economic terms, a lot still has to be done to achieve gender parity.
Thus it is important that as we celebrate the achievements, it should also be an occasion to reflect on where we have come from and set new goals, ideally with a time frame. Whereas there are many stakeholders in this, it is important for women to take the lead in form of individual initiative and responsibility.