Strengthening Governance: The Role of Women in Rwanda’s Transition

Elizabeth Powley | October 2003

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Nine years after the end of the 1994 genocide, Rwanda still faces challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and HIV/AIDS. However, the country has made strides toward establishing a democratic society. Having made several important contributions to their country’s political system, women are at the forefront of post-genocide Rwandan public life. They are present in government at record levels; they compose 49 percent of parliament’s lower house. Women’s accomplishments include initiating reconciliation efforts, participating in drafting a new constitution, exercising influence in decentralization policies, and forming a cross-party caucus in parliament to continue to work on security issues. This publication is one of three field-based case studies that examine women’s contributions to post-conflict governance.

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