Women Integral to Governance, Peacebuilding in Africa

Ruth Aine, a Ugandan blogger and social media trainer, has shared an opinion piece highlighting the integral role women play in Africa’s success. She pulls examples from Rwanda. Excerpts from the piece include:

After arriving in Kigali last month, the first thing my friends and I did was hire motorcycles and ride around the city. It was the best way to get reacquainted with it and take in all the sights and sounds and smells – it was cheap therapy.

For a few moments during that ride, it didn’t feel like I was in Africa. Kigali over time has developed into a lovely city. The growth is something that you see when you meet the locals and look at the infrastructure. A country once wounded so badly is shining and we Africans are all visibly proud. The story that is being told about Rwanda is that where there is a will, there is a way.

Women bring to the table a unique way of governance – the kind that is sentimental and well thought-out. We are relational beings and while all we do and should listen to the facts and the judge, women bring the ‘Ubuntu’ aspect as well.

Over the past couple for years economists have agreed that there is nothing more central to development than the economic, political and social participation and leadership of women. They go on to say that this is particularly true in post-conflict societies where women often make up the majority of the population. Women have the primary responsibility of raising the next generation. The majority of refugees are women and children, and not just in Africa. Female education, increasing women’s authority and uplifting their political voice have a profound effect on development in post-conflict situations. And this is what Rwanda has done. The have given women more control over resources, which is very important. We see it in our everyday lives: women will tend to give more and invest more in the livelihood of their homes and communities.

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