United Nations (UN) Women Executive Director visits Rwanda, applauds remarkable progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment

United Nations (UN) Women Executive Director visits Rwanda, applauds remarkable progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment

United Nations (UN) Women Executive Director visits Rwanda, applauds remarkable progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment

United Nations (UN) Women Executive Director visits Rwanda, applauds remarkable progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment

UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous conducted a three-day mission in Rwanda, where she represented the UN Secretary General at the Women Deliver 2023 conference in Kigali, and met with government officials, civil society, women’s rights activists and partners to strengthen collaboration and mobilize greater action for gender equality and women’s empowerment in Rwanda and at the global scale.  Notable meetings included those with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame and subsequent meetings with the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Prof. Jeanette Bayisinge and other members of the National Gender Machinery. 

The Women Deliver conference, convened around the theme ”Space, Solidarity and Solutions”, witnessed participation from over 6,000 stakeholders and advocates dedicated to advancing gender equality, making it one of the largest multi-sectoral gatherings of its kind. At the opening ceremony, Rwandan President  H.E. Paul Kagame, reaffirmed the country’s commitment to gender equality, and urged stakeholders to take innovative and urgent measures to accelerate progress.  

As a country, Rwanda ranks among the highest globally on the achievement of gender parity, particularly in women’s political participation, with nearly two-thirds of parliamentary seats and 55 per cent of cabinet positions currently held by women. The Government of Rwanda has further demonstrated its commitment by co-leading the “Generation Equality” Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation, pledging to close the digital gender divide by 2026. 

“Change is difficult and does not happen overnight, but together, with sustained effort, we can make a decisive difference,” said President Kagame.  

Delivering remarks on behalf of the UN Secretary General, Ms. Bahous called upon Women Deliver participants and activists worldwide to stand steadfast amidst current challenges and recent regressions on women’s rights, and to unite to drive collective action for gender equality as the world looks forward to important summits such as the SDG Summit and the Summit of the Future. 

Ms. Bahous further underscored UN Women’s dedication to collaborating with all stakeholders and empowering youth movements as key agents of change: “As multilateral organizations, government and the private sector, it is our duty and responsibility to create space for (youth) voices to be heard, and share the power we are privileged to hold,” she said. Read the full speech.

In a meeting with President Paul Kagame on the sidelines of the Women Deliver conference, Ms. Bahous commended the strong achievements Rwanda has made on advancing women’s rights and gender equality, and expressed gratitude to the country for hosting the global community of gender champions at the Women Deliver conference this year.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Women – Africa.