Women’s rights, cultural identity and developmental projects

Empowering Women aims at inspiring them with the courage to break free from the chains of restrictive belief patterns, societal and religious conditioning that have traditionally kept women suppressed and unable to see their true beauty and power.

Empowering Women aims at inspiring them with the courage to break free from the chains of restrictive belief patterns, societal and religious conditioning that have traditionally kept women suppressed and unable to see their true beauty and power.

Women in Rwanda have greatly come out to defend their true identity by encouraging the development of projects within communities as a passage to exercising their rights and true cultural identity.

Against this background, the Nyamirambo Women’s Center, was formed with the aim of enhancing gender equality and women participation at the grassroots.

“The association is comprised of marginalized women between the ages of 18 and 41. Group members come from different cultural, religious and social backgrounds, and have different levels of education ranging from illiterate women to university graduates,” said Jackline Murungi, the President of Nyamirambo Women’s Center

Nyamirambo Women’s Center was formed in 2007 and is supported by the Peace Institute in Slovenia and the Rwanda Association of University Women.

At a three day International Women’s Conference that took place at Kimironko, one of Kigali’s Suburbs, issues surrounding Women empowerment through community based tourism and cultural exchange were discussed.
It was noted that through various projects, women have been able to evaluate themselves and accomplish immense activities on their own.

“The current conference project which is part of our bigger project is an attempt to empower women to define their needs and become self reliant,” Murungi said.

Dr. Vlasta Jalusic, a Senior Resaerch Fellow at the Peace Institute in Slovenia said that women are working hard with authorities to ensure that gender violence issues cease.
“The role of this conference is to bring together various projects and experiences from different countries in an attempt to encourage women to work together in the realization of their potential, rights and cultural identity” said Dr. Jalusic, who was a speaker at the conference held at Le Printemps Hotel, Kimironko.

Talking about women’s rights and cultural identity, Dr. Jalusic urged women in Rwanda to rise up, understand and defend their rights, because it seems that the issue of women’s rights is okay and good from a normative and theoretical point of view but in reality it is not exactly the case.

“Rights comprise of basic human equality and how we understand it and whether we are capable of taking responsibility for this basic equality and defending it,” she said.

In general, she noted that the Women Associations in Rwanda is active in areas such as; sensitizing women and the communities at large to wake up and discover their identity, potential and rights.

“We have all reasons to support these women, because from this association a number of women have been able to learn English, pursue their education and are self reliant and at a broader context have helped in developing Rwanda as a country,” Dr. Jalusic said.

iruikmo@yahoo.com 

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