Rwanda is the country with the highest percentage of women lawmakers in their government. With women comprising over 64 percent of the country’s lower parliament, Rwanda tops the United States’ ratio of women in office by a landslide.

 

After the geneocide in Rwanda in 1994, the country has done its best to rebuild itself and construct a new identity. During that time, women have proved to be remarkably influential. Mathilde Mukantabana, Rwanda’s ambassador to the United States explains, “they were the backbone of reconstruction of our country but at the same time also there was a political will to empower women.” There was a conscious effort to empower women and make sure they felt they could be involved and promote change.

 

The women of Rwanda are supporting each other and are an example to countries around the world. It is important to recognize the significance of Rwanda’s amount of women in politics. The idea of women in politics becomes more acceptable as more women are visible in politics. Those growing up in Rwanda will see how both men and women are working together in all aspects of the political realm, and women in politics will not be as stigmatized and restricted, as it in many other countries.

 

It is important that women support each other and recognize that we can be a voice in politics and other male dominated careers. By supporting each other, we can be an example for other nations to empower women and the rights of all citizens. Rwanda has come a long way since the genocide of 1994. That change would not have been possible without the power and strength of women in their government.

 

Equality is only possible when both men and women both have an equal say in government policies. With many political issues involving the rights of women’s bodies (e.g. birth control, abortion, etc.), it is even more pertinent that women’s voices are heard.

 

What do you think about the women of Rwanda’s parliament? Let me know in the comments below or tweet at me @whatsthesich