9 August 2018

Rwanda: Number of Female Parliamentarians Likely to Increase

Women make up about 61 per cent of all nominees compared to 50 per cent in the 2013 elections that ushered in an unprecedented 64 per cent seats for women.

The next parliament is set to be dominated by female lawmakers as this year political parties have nominated more women compared to the 2013 parliamentary elections.

At a media briefing held at their offices on Monday, the Chairperson of NEC, Kalisa Mbanda, said that the commission approved 521 nominations out of the 539 applications that it received.

Mbanda pointed out that women make up about 61 per cent of all nominees compared to 50 per cent in the 2013 elections that ushered in an unprecedented 64 per cent seats for women.

The Lower Chamber of Parliament is made up of 80 members, 53 of whom are drawn from political parties or independents, 24 representing women (elected through the National Women Council structures), two youth representatives, and one representative of people living with disabilities.

"We looked at the aspect that every political party fulfilled the 30 per cent women nominees as says the Rwandan constitution. And parties like the RPF-Inkotanyi, 58 per cent of its nominees are women. More women might enter the parliament," Mbanda said.

Of the 179 female candidates vying for the 24 seats, 33 are from Northern Province, 62 from Southern Province, 39 from Eastern Province,, 39 from Western Province, and 16 from Kigali City.

There is a significant increase of female candidates compared to the 2013 when only 221 women ran compared to 326 this year.

The Government of Rwanda has been promoting gender equality since 1994. The political participation of Rwandan women has been facilitated by a constitutional mandate and the work of key institutions, notably the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, the Rwanda Women Parliamentarians Forum (FFRP), National Women's Council (NWC) and the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO).

Rwandan women have created a remarkable political space for themselves in the last 24 years.

The President is expected to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies today and elections are due to take place from September 2 to 4.

The outgoing Parliament is third since Rwanda held its first post-Genocide parliamentary elections in 2003.


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