More than 500 delegates are gathered at Kigali Serena Hotel for the Commonwealth Women Forum, under the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future: Transforming for Gender Equality’.
The Rwandan First Lady Jeannette Kagame is also participating in this prestigious gathering which has attracted Patricia Scotland QC, the Commonwealth SG, representatives of commonwealth women machineries, key civil society and private sector representatives, and International Development Organisations among others.
Despite a 2-year delay caused by Covid-19 pandemic, the First Lady told delegates that the CWF2022 is happening at the crossroads of critical economic and social change, where women, particularly in tech and innovation, may just be that gamechanger that is needed, provided that the nurturing environment, resources and support is available.
Mrs Kagame also hinted on gender disparity challenges; “Statistics on gender inequality, which will be repeated during the CWF2022 may be uncomfortable to hear, but they serve, to highlight the importance of immediate action.”
Half of women across the world, have experienced, or know a woman who has experienced, gender-based violence, “there is nothing pleasant about knowing that,” she told delegates.
However, Rwanda has raked in its global mark in promoting gendar parity and has been ranked by World Economic Forum (WEF), as the 7th best performing nation in the world, in closing the Gender Gap.
Rwanda which suffered a devastating 1994 genocide against Tutsi that claimed over a million lives has worked tirelessly to rebuild and unite its people focused on a well defined national development agenda.
“The pathway of Rwanda’s post-genocide reconstruction was littered, with the pain of fragmented families and wounded, traumatized women,” she noted.
She added that the country’s Leaders and Liberators of the time, had to address the crises at hand, while devising a long-term gender-sensitive strategy to healing, that centered around the wellness, prosperity, and empowerment of girls, women and entire families.
According to the First Lady, “The CWF2022 does not just occur, in a country that consistently pushes for the emergence and recognition of women in leadership. It occurs in a country, where rape was used, barely 3 decades ago, as a weapon of war.”