Mukabalisa was speaking yesterday while delivering a key note address on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment during a seminar for Heads of Parliament at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel.
“As leaders at the high level and people of influence, let’s continue finding new and innovative ways to sustain and accelerate progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment in our respective countries, as well as at continental and global levels,” she said.
“Let’s then join our hands and efforts to empower women for the well-being of our families’ and nation’s development," she added.
She said in many cultures around the world, societies have been characterized by gender inequalities and women were deprived of many rights over the years. She said women’s political participation and role in decision-making should be more significant.
Mukabalisa said that Rwanda decided on the adoption of Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting (GRB) which was institutionalized by the Organic Law on Budget and Government Property, with specific provisions and clear principles making it mandatory.
“Opportunities for access to affordable financing have been provided to link women and girls to potential finances. Most importantly, women have full legal rights to inherit, own and transfer productive resources like land,” she said.
She said the organic law governing political parties and politicians ensures that political party lists include at least 30% of women candidates for parliamentary elections.
Women’s representation in all decision making organs especially in Parliament, she said has greatly influenced Policy advocacy, passing of non-discriminatory laws, and thus made the implementation of Gender Equality Programs smooth.
Rwanda leads the World in terms of Women representation in Parliament with 64% in chamber of Deputies,39 %in the Senate,41% in Cabinet Ministers, 40% in Judiciary and 43% in Districts Advisory Councils.
“The strong commitment from the highest level of our leadership, created confidence in Rwandan women as their dignity and rights have been restored,” she said
She said, today, women and girls are very active in sectors that were previously male dominated such as pilots, soldiers, police officers, mechanics and engineers.
She said Rwanda has a significant number of women in Army and Police serving in UN and AU peacekeeping missions.
“The struggle to achieve gender equality and women empowerment continues, even though we experience some victories. We have raised the bar very high and we are committed to keep running faster, as we have a long way to go to make our country more developed than it is today,” she explained.
She urged nations that Gender agenda can be successful if there is a political will by the country’s top leadership that appreciates men and women’s equal capabilities and promotes equality.
By quoting President Paul Kagame she urged countries to create an environment enabling women and men to maximize their potentials.
“Women and men are equal in terms of ability and dignity. They should also be equal in terms of opportunity.As Rwandans,as a global community, we need every member of our society to use his or her talents to the fullest,” she quoted president Kagame.