Dr Karusisi who was speaking to 100 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of medium sized and large institutions from Africa attending ‘Made In Africa Leadership Conference’ held in Kigali to seek ways of promoting Made in Africa, explained that women are in most cases involved in leadership of medium enterprises noting that women presence is lacking in decision making positions in large enterprises.
She however observed that women and girls fear to take responsibilities even when they are assigned in such positions.
“We are often the first root causes of such exclusion because we don’t have self-confidence. We have inner feelings pushing us not to expose ourselves wondering what people shall think about you. They will consider me arrogant, …And this restrains you from raising hand to express an idea,” noted Dr Karusisi.
The conference was held for the first time on 6th June 2019 and was organized by Breakfast Club Africa.
Breakfast Club Africa is a Pan African CEO membership organization, formed with a purpose of helping leaders of companies to become better leaders, thus benefiting their organizations and employees.
The second day of the conference attracted different panelists including Dr Karusisi who shared insights on challenges and opportunities for African woman.
Results from a survey conducted by Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) in 2016 indicated that only 39.5% women among citizens who have accounts at financial institutions. The report also indicated that 68.9% of men have acquired loans while only 26.8% women got loans.
“ I don’t know the essence of this but the issue exists. I remember when I worked at the office of the presidency, he often asked me to share ideas and I would share good ideas. But I had inner feelings that I have nothing to say , like something is obstructing me to stand and share an idea,” she added.
Dr Karusisi explained that 23% of girls drop out from primary schools while the boys are 19%. Female teens dropping out of school are 36% and 32% for boys.
Dr Karusisi emphacized that giving girls opportunities to decision making positions should start with setting up policies enhancing their access to education.
Lusubilo Chakaniza, the CEO of Ethanol Company Ltd from Malawi was among the discussants.
He said that girls lack confidence amidst bareers restricting them to particular opportunities.
The Managing Director of BPR Atlas Mara, Maurice K. Toroitich pointed out an example of previous graduation ceremony he attended where girls were best performers noting that girls can execute their duties articulately if they are given opportunities.
“We have to understand that being a girl doesn’t mean you are not able to perform like boys,” he said.
Rwanda is among countries promoting gender balance in top government positions. The 2003 Constitution as amended to date stipulates that women should have at least 30% representation in decision making positions.