In other words, Rwanda is the feminist country we wish Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and other African countries were. The country has the highest representation of women in politics, education and the workplace in Africa.
Across most of Africa and the world, men tend to outnumber women in politics and by extension, in most parliaments around the world, but not in Rwanda. Currently, 64% of the Rwandan Parliament is female and it has been ranked the highest country in the world – with the most women in parliament as of January 2017. And if you inspect properly, they don’t have two heads.
Rwandan Women in leadership (Photo: The New Times)
By any indication, Rwanda is Africa’s gender-equality success story for high female representation in politics, education, the workplace and across industries. It was the first country in the world to have more than half of its government run by women.
According to the Global Competitiveness Report, Rwanda is the best place to be a woman in Africa, followed by Malawi, Mauritius and Namibia; and fourth globally after Iceland, Norway and Finland.
While other African countries have mostly ignored women empowerment movements, Rwanda is a global leader in commitments related to the #HeforShe campaign – the global solidarity movement for gender equality, developed by UN women and spearheaded by men in support of justice and equality for women.
While Rwanda is not perfect yet, according to the UN, rates of domestic violence are considered high in the country, it still sets an example for Africa and the world in terms of women’s participation across industries.
I now invite you to contrast this to Nigeria (the ninth worst place in Africa and the world to be a woman), where a lawmaker said on International Women’s Day:
“If only women realise the power they have, men will be in trouble, so don’t give them too much opportunity.”