Defending Children’s Rights: The Legislative Priorities of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians

Elizabeth Powley   •   April 2008

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Inclusion of women in national legislatures has had positive policy outcomes for children and families. Global analyses, and the Rwanda case in particular, indicate that female legislators are more likely to prioritize issues such as family health and welfare, and the defense of children’s rights. This publication draws on extensive interviews with parliamentarians and others, as well as content analysis of local newspapers and participant observation research by the author, who directed a three-year women’s leadership project in the country. The publication both describes the role and progress of women in Rwanda’s transitional parliament, constitution drafting process, and 2003 parliamentary elections; and outlines the steps female parliamentarians have taken to address the needs and rights of children through three pieces of legislation.

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