Gender, politics, and parliament in Rwanda

Overview

Rwanda is lauded as a world leader in women’s political participation. International accolades abound. In 2007, Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, was presented with the African Gender Award. In 2013, the country won the international ‘Women in Parliament’ award for its work promoting women’s political empowerment.

The figures are certainly impressive: Rwanda’s Chamber of Deputies is one of only two chambers worldwide in which women outnumber men. In Bolivia, 53% of parliamentarians are women. Rwanda leads the global field with 64%, compared with a global average of 23%. That is not all: seven out of 14 judges in the supreme court are women; women’s councils exist at the cell, sector, district and provincial level; and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) is tasked with ensuring that women’s interests are institutionally represented at a national level...

Photo: Rwandan Parliament/Flickr (CC 2.0 by-nd)

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Lecturer in International Development, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh