Rwanda’s parliament has improved its ratio of women legislators which is the highest in the world. The East African country recently elected 58 women legislators out of the 80 members of parliament. This is an improvement on the previous parliament’s 49 women representatives.
NEWS UPDATE: Final tally shows number of women MPs in Rwanda parliament up by 2 points to 66%. The 80 member House now has 53 women lawmakers pic.twitter.com/jOdtfUzPng
— Fred Mwasa (@mwasa) September 4, 2018
Rwanda also ranks highest in labour participation among women and women make up more than half of Kagame’s cabinet, but the statistics are not the true reflection of the situation in the country which has been led by Paul Kagame who has been in office for 18 years.
Human rights, legal inequality and access to justice have plagued the country’s positive record on women’s rights and have exposed the glass ceiling that is just above the parliamentary level.
Women have had slim chances of getting to the top in Rwanda’s political hierarchy as the only woman to ever rise to the topmost position was Agathe Uwilingiyimana who was Prime Minister of Rwanda in 1993.
She was assassinated on April 7, 1994, by the presidential guard 14 hours after the assassination of President Habyarimana which commenced the genocide.
Two decades later, two Rwandan women have attempted to run against President Paul Kagame but ended up in jail for various reasons which are politically motivated.
Read more about them below.