The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, on Friday met with Bineta Diop, the founder and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), an international organisation that promotes women empowerment and peace.
The two women leaders discussed the future of women in Rwanda and Africa as well as their role in peace building.
“I feel like Rwandese when I come here. My visit is to encourage women to keep moving and never give up,” Diop told reporters after their meeting.
Partnering with Profemmes-Twese Hamwe, an umbrella organisation for women associations in Rwanda, FAS will find a way of facilitating access to land, farming materials, and markets for women farmers in Rwanda.
“Rwanda was selected to pilot the EWA (Empowering Women in Agriculture) project, so we are working hand in hand with the Ministry of Agriculture to implement the project,” minister Gasinzigwa said.
According to Diop, women in Senegal have always been the first to refuse and stop violence in their country and women all over Africa can influence governments if they are empowered.
Regional women leaders have been working to implement a United Nations (UN)’s Resolution 1325 which urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts.
The resolution is hinged on four pillars including the prevention of gender based violence, protection and rehabilitation of victims’ dignity, and promotion and involvement of women in peace efforts.
Rwanda has registered some progress as far as the above is concerned by passing laws against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and putting in place mechanisms to prevent the violence across the country, as well as increasing women representation in decision making institutions.
The country is now focusing on strengthening regional partnerships to emphasize the role of women in conflict resolution in the Great Lakes region, Gasinzigwa said.
She noted that Diop’s visit was important for building a relationship between FAS in Senegal and women in Rwanda.