Speaker: Rwandan women’s power in government evolving

After the tragic Rwanda genocide of 1994, many aspects of Rwandan society changed, including women’s power in government, said Jean Dominique Gumirakiza, an applied economics graduate student. Currently, 56 percent of the parliament and one-third of the cabinet is composed of Rwandan women in a republic government system. Just 15 years ago, these same women were subject to torture and sexual assault in the genocide, Gumirakiza said. During the genocide, an estimated 850,000 people were killed when the Tutsi people invaded the Hutus upon the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana, the Hutu president. Gumirakiza witnessed the Rwandan genocide as a young boy and has watched the transformation of the country, said Anne Austin, director of the Center for Women and Gender. Gumirakiza said, “The direction where our country is going is good because of its unity. This one (government) is doing a very good job. They want all the people to live together again.” USU’s Center for Women and Gender hosted Gumirakiza as a guest speaker Wednesday, and Austin said she wanted Gumirakiza to convey information about the changes in Rwanda to broaden students’ understanding cultures foreign to them. “It’s really important for us to understand the condition of all people,” Austin said. “It’s a matter of being a global citizen.”

<a href=””>To read the rest of this article on the Utah Statesman website, click here.</a>

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!