Opinion leaders challenged to reflect on girl child education

In a collaborative effort with the University of Rwanda- College of Education and the City of Kigali, the Women Leadership Programme (WLP) resumed its outreach campaign meant to advocate for women excess to higher education. The campaign brought together parents and guardians, Government officials, educationalists and clergy people. It was hosted at Serena Hotel.

Participants during the campaign for girl child education

Participants during the campaign for girl child education

In his opening remarks, Mr. Fidèle Ndayisaba, the Kigali City Mayor who was the guest of Honor said that the development of Rwanda is based on a knowledge society and therefore the women as majority of Rwandans should be given special attention. He added that the duty of every leader and Rwandans is to put at the forefront the education of girl child. According to him, women have been marginalized and they should be empowered in order to make transformation of Rwandan society.
“The women’s compassion should not be a factor to leave them for household activities, instead this should inspire us to empower them to take care of the nation as they take care of their families” Ndayisaba said.

Speaking on behalf of the Principal of UR-CE, Dr Alfred Otara noted that Women Leadership Programme is a project that endeavours to strengthen UR-CE capacity to advance women leadership and prepare graduates to contribute to gender equity and women economic empowerment through education. He added that girl children are mainly focused due to the fact that education provides critical skills and tools to help female students to develop the capacity and be able to reach out to opportunities that are available and take advantage of them.

Otara who is also the WLP, Project Investigator revealed that one of the reasons that prompted the project to conduct the outreach programmes is mainly the poor enrolment of female students in higher education which also trigger the negligible number of women in the ranking of the university positions.

“We are trying to sensitize various stakeholders for taking up the idea of empowering women to advance their education as well as different roles in society” He said, adding that the project has already designed a gender sensitive programme which will be incorporated in the UR-College of Education’s curricula.

Bishop John Rucyahana Rucyahana who is the facilitator of the campaign hailed the Government of Rwanda for policies that were put in place in overhauling gender sensitivity mainly in the promotion and empowerment of women in the society. He said that the girl child in the community is not only a citizen meant to be productive but above all the mother of the nation. He challenged participants to engage a systematic policy and strategies meant to maintain and sustain all that have been achieved in gender advocacy.

“If we are to sustain the existing policies that value women, we have to get down in the villages and educate girls and give them equal attention as much as we give to the boys” Rucyahana said.

This was the 3rd forum conducted by the WLP project. Previously, the campaign had already reached out the Eastern and Western Provinces of Rwanda in 2 different districts Kayonza and Nyabihu respectively. The Women’s Leadership Program is a project funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), managed by Higher Education for Development (HED) and coordinated by the University Of Rwanda- College Of Education.

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