The Parliament of Rwanda host the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). More than 1000 delegates, including about sixty (60) Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliaments, have so far attended in person.

The six-day event which commenced on the 11th October, 2022 is being held on the theme “Gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world”. The IPU will facilitate exchanges on good practices to make parliaments more gender-sensitive as well as encouraging parliaments to pledge transformative action. 

Rwanda leads the way when it comes to gender equality in parliament. In 2008, the Rwanda Chamber of Deputies was the first elected national parliament with more women than men. With the proportion of MPs who are women standing at 61.25% today, well above the current global average of 26.4%, Rwanda has been at the top of the IPU’s monthly ranking of women in national parliaments for years. 

Rwanda also has a relatively young parliament, with half of its deputies under 45 years old, well above the global average of 29.85%, also tracked by the IPU.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 145TH Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly yesterday 11th October 2022, the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame said we cannot conclude as a continent that we do not have a problem.

“When we think that all the problems of dehumanisation, genocide and reversion are confined to Africa, we immediately realise that other parts of the world are going through similar challenges that affect peace and democracy. What a better way then can we think of to find solutions than through cooperation. And I think we need to work together more and more,” he said.

The Rwandan leader said there was no individual country or region in the world that could to have all the solutions to the diverse threats against global peace and security.
He, therefore, emphasised the need for Parliaments and nations to work together to improve democracy and peace, saying that “if we do not it through cooperation, I do not think we can achieve anything,” he stated.

Mr. Kagame also expressed the view that no country or people could assume that they had it all and they could tell others what they should be doing.
“It does not work like that and it is not the reality of the world that we live in. Solidarity in the fight against genocide ideology however marched more than enacting laws.

“It is about recognition of our shared humanity for the betterment of our societies and the protection of future generations,” he said.

According to Mr. Kagame, gender equality is better achieved when we acknowledge that it is a right for everyone everywhere.

“Women are the backbone of resilient and peaceful societies; we need strong legal and policy frameworks in place with an emphasis on implementation and results,” he said.

Citing the important roles women played in Rwanda’s liberation struggle, he said women remained a fundamental part of Rwanda’s transformation journey, with women participation in peacekeeping missions across the African continent.

source: AGN news