LOUISE KANYONGA at 26 years, is the Registrar General at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) that deals with Rwanda’s investments. She attained her Undergraduate Law Degree at the University of Wits in South Africa and Masters in Corporate Law at Harvard Law School.
Before working at RDB she was a Policy Analyst with the Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) at the President’s Office.
Rwandan women are living the dream compared to other African and some developed countries. This is because Rwandan women have the support from the Government that has put in place structures to enforce gender equality in all facets of society.
We have made really big strides, it’s good to celebrate what has been achieved and at the same time take note of what has to be done. When I rank Rwandan women and their role in society, they score above average as compared to our counterparts in the region.
Today women are taking the initiative to participate unlike, in the old political mentality.
Education should be prioritized for girls to increase participation especially traditional disciplines that are thought to be male dominated like medicine and information technology.
In my own experience I feel like I have never been limited by my gender. I feel I have played at a leveled field both academically and professionally. Our predecessors had to sacrifice a lot for the generations after them. I think we are a living testament of the changing times.
As a child, I thought I would do medicine and yet I ended up doing law as my parents had always wished. I ended up loving it and realized that there is a lot to be done in the legal sector. My dream is to bring legal reform to Rwanda where several regulations in the commercial sector are quite weak; and I hope to participate directly.
These will empower more women starting up businesses since they are the larger labour force in Rwanda.
Studying at Wits and Harvard proves that any girl with a dream and goal can attain it. It takes just one stage of life to decide to be the best and exploit the resources around you.
Everyone should realize success starts with your mindset. A strong support system like a family that encourages you to achieve your goals, makes it easier.
Girls are brought up to think that women are only to be married off no matter what their educational levels are. They need to look around and appreciate that Rwandan policies have made it easy for them to exploit the opportunities given to them. They should feel fortunate.
There are many successful examples of women in Rwanda’s education, politics, business and society. There are many role models and Rwanda’s women should think of ways to create jobs other than wait for someone to employ them.