The Genocide in Rwanda

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Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, once quoted that, “When we are unified, working together, no challenge is insurmountable” (Arnlaugsdottir). His quote holds meaning and truth as within the past twenty years, Rwanda has worked miraculously to rebuild and reunite the country that was left disheveled by social conflict and genocide. There are many factors that have contributed to the reconstruction of Rwanda, including international assistance, gacaca courts and International Criminal Tribunal, annual commemoration ceremonies, and wellness and counseling efforts. However, the influence and role of women within Rwanda is considered one of the most significant forces and contributors to the unification and restoration of the country. The role of women was greatly impacted by the genocide and since the conclusion of it in 1994, women have taken advantage of opportunities and have worked to join with each other and their male counterparts, attempting to achieve the common goal of the country to find stabilization through unity and reconciliation, reintegration of the survivors and refugees, and rebuilding the socioeconomic structures (UNDP Rwanda).
Prior the start of the genocide in April of 1994, women played a tradition role in a rather patriarchal, or male dominated, society. Often times, their roles included educating the children, managing the household, advising husbands, and maintaining traditions (Hogg [72]). They were nearly absent from political life and were under-represented in Rwandan politics.
In the genocide of 1994, it is important to understand that women were not only victims of the atrocities as examined throughout this course, but also were involved in committing them, still committing fewer acts of violence ...

... middle of paper ... the males in their work in this village. While about half of all of the farmers in the village’s coffee cooperative are women, they are producing 90% of its finest quality beans for export (Faiola). This concept is called female entrepreneurialism and it is vital for efforts to rebuild the nation and fight poverty. It was stated by a Washington Post’s Faiola that women are often successful in their economic endeavors as they are more likely to invest profits into their families, renovate homes to improve living conditions, improve nutrition, increase saving rates, and spend money on education (Faiola). Since the genocide, Rwanda’s economy has since tripled in size and has grown at an average of over 6 percent since 2004 with many women participating in the workforce and owning businesses (Mutale). Agnes Matilda Kalibata, who is the minister of state in charge of

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