Rwanda has reached the top position in the global commitment in the HeForShe campaign.
HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by the United Nations.
Almost 205,885 commitments have been made by Rwanda in support of this campaign. This places Rwanda in the first place followed by the USA with 137,599 commitments.
The third country is Cameroon with 132,114 commitments and fourth in place is Mexico which has 122,759 commitments and the Democratic Republic of Congo with 118,083 commitments.
With the population estimated at 12.50 million, Rwanda is the country with smallest population among the leading five countries in HeForShe campaign.
The USA which comes second in HeForShe campaign has an estimated population of 326.77 million people.
Rwanda has generated 68286 commitments than the world biggest economy.
Cameroon (third in HeForShe) population is estimated at 24.68 million, doubling Rwanda’s population and has secured 73771 less commitments than Rwanda .
Mexico has an estimated 130.7 population and stands 83126 signatures behind Rwanda with only 12 million people as its estimated 2018 population.
And finally the DRC which comes fifth in the campaign has an estimated 83.8 million population, six times its Eastern neighbour Rwanda but the mineral-rich nation has now got 118,083 HeForShe campaign commitments, 87802 less than Rwanda.
But what makes Rwanda stand out in the campaign with the largest number of commitments for the campaign with its low number of the population compared to all the countries that follow it in the campaign so many others in the whole world?
Speaking at the European Development Days 2018, President Paul Kagame revealed reasons behind the respect of women’s rights as equal to men’s and said that most important work is at the level of mindsets.
He said; “Most important work is at the level of mindsets. That starts with learning to see the extra hurdles that women must clear every day whether in terms of unfair expectations, unpaid work and violations of personal dignity.’’
“For too long, society has created a psychology that women are inferior & can only rise at the mercy of men. This is a norm that can no longer be tolerated. Not only with regard to unwanted advances, but indeed in all aspects of the struggle for equality,’’ he explained adding that “Women have been expected to keep quiet about these negative experiences. It is a good thing that it is beginning to be talked about more openly.”
For Rwanda, Kagame highlighted the insurance scheme for women in maternity leave and rose accountability as a strategy leaders should adopt to change the disrespect of women’s rights.”
“Our approach all along has been to focus on the benefits that gender equality brings to society. As a result, no one feels they have lost something and the gains are sustainable. In Rwanda, we have instituted an insurance scheme that allows women to continue receiving their full salary during twelve weeks of maternity leave,” he said.
Kagame asked that HeForShe should not be only hashtags when he said “He for She”. “She Is We”. These should not be mere hashtags, but expressions of our determination to make change really happen.”
“Compensating women for where they have been disadvantaged is not enough. We have to truly level the playing field and make public pledges that raise standards and expectations going forward.
According to a recent World Bank study, Kagame said, countries are losing 160 trillion dollars in wealth because of the lifetime earnings gap between women and men.