WOMEN delegates to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Regional (ICGLR) met in Kigali to launch the Regional Women’s Forum (RWF) as a coordination and consultative organ of the organisation that deals specifically with women issues.
During a two-day meeting held in the parliamentary buildings, it was revealed that RWF had not been operational for three years now due to technical and logistical difficulties.
However, after a consultative workshop that was held last month in Kigali, it was strongly recommended that RWF be set up to strengthen women rights in the Great Lakes Region.
Speaking to the delegates, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya, commended the Great Lakes nations for their initiative to bring women together to share ideas on matters concerning the development of the region.
“The government of Rwanda attaches much importance to the partnership with all nations, especially starting with the Great Lakes Region,” Mujawamariya said.
“We must always come together and seek common solutions to our regional problems, especially gender related matters”.
The Executive Secretary of ICGLR, Liberata Mulamula, said that the forum will enable member countries to learn from each others’ experience as well as harmonize strategies that promote and enhance women participation in decision making processes and leadership.
“We are aware that there are many ongoing efforts aimed at promoting women’s empowerment and participation, both at national and regional levels,” Mulamula said. “But the uniqueness of this framework is to open space for dialogue inside and across countries in the region”.
The national coordinator of ICGLR Rwanda, Joseph Kabakeza, said that the Regional Women’s Forum is an important step in the implementation of the pact on peace, stability and development in the region.
“The forum is a platform through which women of the region can address a number of challenges they face as well as establish a common stand for women to speak as one voice,” Kabakeza said.