Women front EALA representatives

In elections dubbed “free and fair” by observers from the National Electoral Commission (NEC), close to one hundred women voted representatives to be their voice in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Hon. Alphosine Mukarugema addressing women during their General Assembly, yesterday. The Sunday Times / Timothy Kisambira.
Hon. Alphosine Mukarugema addressing women during their General Assembly, yesterday. The Sunday Times / Timothy Kisambira.

In elections dubbed “free and fair” by observers from the National Electoral Commission (NEC), close to one hundred women voted representatives to be their voice in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Valerie Nyirahabineza and Aquiline Niwenfura won the elections and are expected to fight for the position of EALA Women Representative before parliament in the coming weeks.

 “I will see to it that resolutions made in the EAC Women’s Forum that was hosted in Kigali, be implemented for the empowerment of the ordinary Rwandan woman,” Nyirahabineza said.

She currently holds the position of Women Representative in EALA and has served for five years, a mandate which expires in June this year.

Her competitor, Niwenfura, said that she will focus on empowering women, particularly, to ease methods of acquiring credit facilities.

“Women suffer in East Africa because there are no special clear cut channels for acquiring money to start businesses. With all the financial institutions in this region, it should be made easy, and that is my target when I am finally elected,” Niwenfura said.

The women, together with two youth and persons with disabilities representatives, will present their credentials to NEC, after which they will be vetted by a joint parliamentary session to produce one final person to represent each group in EALA.

Meanwhile, over 300 women met yesterday in the National Women Conference General Assembly to deliberate about their challenges and contributions to the nation.

“Women must stand up and take this chance that they have been availed to by the state; our voice is heard and trusted and that is why many women are in leadership positions,” Aloisea Inyumba, Minister of Gender and Family Promotion said.

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