Women`s Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda: Achievements and Challenges

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 304
Mar 21
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 304

Please join the Columbia University Institute for African Studies, the Law in Africa Student Society, the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute for a discussion with Fidèle Rutayisire, executive director of Servas Rwanda and founder and chairperson of the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center. Rutayisire will discuss how women in Rwanda have gone from survivors to leading actors in the reconstruction of the country, highlighting key achievements in women’s rights and gender equality in Rwanda, while also addressing remaining challenges.

Interested in learning about the future of post-conflict societies? Rwanda is an inspiring example and case study. For the last two decades, Rwanda and its process of developing a shift in paradigms has been an example of a success story for all those who are interested in how a devastated country can become a self-resilient and stable country. Many scholars fail to understand how, after so much suffering and within only twenty-three years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda has managed to globally position itself among stable countries and with tremendous socio-political and economic performance.  There are various interrelated factors which justify that phenomenon. One of them is the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. 

Lunch will be provided.

Fidele Rutayisire is the executive director of Servas Rwanda a nonprofit membership organization which fosters understanding of cultural diversity through a global person to person network promoting a more just and peaceful world. He is also founder and chairperson of the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center a local NGO that mobilizes men to support women’s leadership, to address issues of negative masculinity, gender inequality, promotion of healthy families, women’s rights and prevention of gender-based violence. He has served as the national director of the community based sociotherapy consortium and also worked as a civil society expert with USAID in Rwanda.                                                                                                                                 

A lawyer by education, Fidele is a passionate and articulate women’s rights activist in Rwanda. From 2000 he served as the program Director of a Human Rights organization in Rwanda (Association Rwandaise pour la defense des Droits de l`Homme, ARDHO). From 2002, he worked with the Ministry of Health as a legal adviser. In 2004 he joined Kigali Health Institute where he served as the senior adviser to the Vice chancellor.

He holds a Masters Degree in Gender and Development and a post graduate degree in Peace building and he is involved in many women’s organizations in Rwanda. He is currently a board member of various national and international organizations including Servas International, PROMUNDO Great Lakes, BENIMPUWE, Living Peace Rwanda, ARDHO and Africa MenEngage Network. He has also been a board member of PROFEMMES TWESE HAMWE an umbrella of 67 Women’s organizations in Rwanda and the East African civil society organization forum (EACSOF).

Fidele Rutayisire is a Rwandan who initiated and rallied the world to sign the petition against Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Kenya during the post-election violence held in early 2008. He has also been the winner of the 2011 GBV Prevention Network 16 days of activism named what’s your way competition on how to prevent violence against women.

Contact Info: 
For questions regarding the event, please contact Randi Aho at the Human Rights Institute at randi.aho@law.columbia.edu