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.