19 February 2013

Rwanda: Women Activists Meet Ahead of Global Forum

Women rights activists are preparing to share Rwanda's practices in promoting gender with the rest of the world.

The activists, from government, the UN and other civil society organisations, met in Kigali, yesterday, to discuss Rwanda's progress in promoting women's rights in order to share their story at the UN 57th Summit on the status of women in New York, US, next month.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Julienne Munyaneza, urged stakeholders in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and the promotion of women's rights to attend the summit with one voice to explain what Rwanda has achieved and what it seeks to achieve in the future.

"There is what government can do and there is what you can do to achieve results as a country. It's better to go with one voice," she told the activists, who were selecting the ideal message to share.

The meeting was organised by the Gender ministry with the support of the UN Mission in Rwanda.

The UN Country Coordinator, Lamin Momodou Manneh, said Rwanda has made tremendous progress in gender equality and empowerment, pointing out that the country has the highest female representation in Parliament worldwide.

Many experts at the meeting said the country has built a sound legal and policy framework to fight GBV.

The UN Gender Regional Director, Diana Ofwona, said the delegation should have clear statements of the way they want to share their best practices with the world.

"The power is in the pen. Whoever drafts the declaration is the person with the power. This means the delegation must be proactive in action writing," she advised.

Rwanda currently sits on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which works under the UN Economic and Social Council and devises policies to advance gender equality and emancipation.

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