9 March 2009

Rwanda: Country Honoured On International Women's Day


Kigali — What better honour, on International Women's Day, could have been placed on Rwanda as a country, its leadership, and in particular President Paul Kagame, than Liberia's award, the "Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers."

The honour conferred on President Kagame, by Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is for his continuous advocacy for the rights of women.

There is much significance in this honour; not only in terms of the acknowledgement of the great efforts by President Kagame in the women's emancipation drive, but also the fact that here is Africa's first female head of state, making the tacit recognition of that hard work.

Key points made by Sirleaf as she gave the President the award, include, the appointments he has made or caused over the years these include; President of the Supreme Court, key cabinet posts, key command positions in security organs, heads of national commissions and agencies, the Mayor of Kigali.

It is also widely acknowledged that Rwanda has made great strides, over the past 15 years, in uplifting the status of women, in the economic, political and social spheres.

Rwanda and Liberia are two countries with much to learn from each other having emerged from devastating internal strife, they are faced with the twin challenges of fostering reconciliation while rebuilding shattered economies.

For Rwanda policy initiatives in place have seen the country's economy being one of the fasted growing in the world, at 10 percent.

Apart from just supporting women to positions of power and decision-making, there are also policy initiatives to ensure that they benefit fully from the growing economy.

The latest initiative being spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance, is the Gender Responsive Budgeting, which is aimed at tackling the feminization of poverty head on.

It is for this and more that Liberia's honour of President Kagame, should act as an inspiration among the country's leadership and citizens, to keep doing more for the women, until gender equality is truly achieved.

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