Women Now Make Up 68% Of The Parliament In Rwanda

Rwanda is the only country competing with Rwanda. While South Africa and Nigeria are fighting to be regarded as the giant of Africa (it's none of them, by the way — Nigeria just came out of a recession and is actively chasing international investors away, and South Africa just entered a recession yesterday), Rwanda was busy breaking its own world record of 64% women representation in parliament.

Rwandan women in leadership (Photo: The New Times Rwanda)

The new world record for women representation in parliament has now shot up to 67.5%. Out of 80 parliamentary seats in Rwanda, women occupy 54 seats, which is 67.5%. The new record was set last night after the National Electoral Commission announced the September 3 parliamentary elections results, which saw President Kagame’s party, RPF sweeping 74% of the total vote and taking 40 seats.

By contrast, women in the Nigerian House of Assembly and the Senate make up less than 10% of all the representatives.

This doesn't mean that the country is without its problems. While Rwanda is a world leader for women in politics, no woman has managed to become President. Two have tried unsuccessfully, and the last one who tried, Diane Rwigara, is now facing 20 years in prison.

So while President Kagame has placed value on women's roles and spearheaded many reforms to help build women's capacity in civil society, his dictatorial government is still limiting women's - and human - rights.

A cross section of the Rwandan parliament (Photo: The New Times Rwanda)

Tech and politics. Is there even a difference between the two?