Anne Ackermann

Ladies first!
Location: Speyer
Nationality: Germany
Biography: Anne Ackermann is a documentary photographer based in Germany working worldwide. Her work often focuses on women’s and contemporary issues, touching themes ranging from migration and aftermath to skin bleaching and plastic surgery, from... read on
Public Story
Ladies first!
Credits: anne ackermann
Date of Work: 07/14/16 - 07/28/16
Updated: 12/17/18
In numbers, it looks so beautiful, the new world of gender-equality in Rwanda. 64 % of the members of parliament are women and half of the judges of the Supreme Court. There are more female ministers than male ones. Over 90 % of the communities are run by female majors and many enterprises are in the hands of women.

Women in Rwanda work as pilots, mechanics, develop software, are CEOs of multimedia- companies and hold leading positions in clinics and universities. Gender-equality is a political decision and laws have been drafted to implement it. No other country in the world has inscribed into the constitution, that at least 30 % of the members of both chambers of parliament have to be female.

For centuries Rwandese women had no rights, but since 1999 they are allowed to inherit and own property, half of the assets acquired in a marriage are theirs. It is forbidden for men to beat or discriminate a woman. It is hard to top this female-friendly approach.

The search for the reality behind Rwanda’s politically motivated gender-equality is a road trip through a country that is developing super-rapidly. Rwanda’s capital is very chic, at least in the centre, and then there is a strong political vision: the country shall become the African hub for technology, development, design, and banking.

And yet Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked, poor in resources, densely inhabited. 70 % of the population live on farming. Poverty in Rwanda is female and so is labour. Can gender-equality be achieved under such circumstances?

Commissioned by GEO Germany, August 2016. 

By Anne Ackermann —

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