By Representation2020 on July 17, 2017
In the context of electoral gender parity, Rwanda is a fascinating case study. Women currently hold 55.7 percent of parliamentary seats in Rwanda, the highest percentage of women in national parliaments globally, and women also constitute half of the country’s 14-member supreme court.
The catalyst for the country’s progress was the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. After the genocide, President Paul Kagame had to face the challenge of rebuilding a broken country with little remaining infrastructure and shattered political structures. Only 20 of Rwanda’s 785 judges survived the genocide, and none of the members of the post-genocide Transitional National Assembly had served in the previous government.
In addition to the destruction of these institutions, a large portion of the men in Rwanda had been slaughtered, arrested, or forced to leave the country by the end of the genocide. The result was a country where women made up 70 percent of the population. It was clear that in order for the country to become functional again, women would have to take an active role in rebuilding it. In a patriarchal society where women had always been expected to stay at home and serve their husbands, they now took up a variety of active roles in public life. Specifically, women became very involved in the Rwandan government.Read more