In the years following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, young Rwandans have embraced the slogan ‘never again’ as Hutus and Tutsis work side by side to rebuild their nation. They have created new institutions and commissions for the reconciliation and overcoming of the trauma, deeply rooted feelings of hate, resentment, and resignation. Women play a very special role in this process. Women made history in Rwanda and did not only accomplish a huge leap in their country, but also created a unique situation world-wide: they account for half the parliament. They are a central part of reconstruction; their presence will be the proof for the success of this young democracy. In celebration of the strength of these young women, Women without Borders (WwB) invited Connie Bwiza Sekamana to represent this new generation of female Rwandan policy shapers and speak in Vienna at an event entitled ‘Peace is a Gender Issue!’ on International Women’s Day 2004. Sekamana emphazised the important role of women in rebuilding civil society. Fair representation of women is an important indicator for democracy and evidence of a functioning civil society. By highlighting the successes of Rwandan women in reforming their nation, WwB hoped to encourage women across the world to play a more active role in politics.
Connie Bwiza Sekamana