Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rwanda: New Hope For Women

From the Irish Times:
Over the past 16 years, the lives of Rwandan women have been transformed.

Much of this has been out of necessity. After the 1994 genocide, the country was left with a population that was 60 per cent female and 40 per cent male, according to some estimates.

This left the country in a sticky situation, as women did not have the right to inherit land or property. But it prompted women MPs, who held just one in five seats before the genocide to push for change. A bill was passed that gave equal inheritance rights to men and women, which led to the establishment of a 12-member constitutional review commission in 2000.

After being brought around village halls around the country, with input from women and women’s rights groups, the new constitution was passed in 2003. It provided for 30 per cent of seats in parliament to be given to women. In the general election the same year, 55 per cent of seats went to women, the highest proportion in the world.

No comments: