It’s Day 13 of the Afro bloggers challenge. Today’s prompt is “If you could meet one notable African personality, who would it be and why”.
Hum! Who would it be? Every season it is always someone different depending on the news, a new movie out, new book release, a TV show I am watching…. whatever is dear to my heart at the moment.
This week, with all the rape and paedophilia stories out, I was mad. No! Mad is an understatement. I am enraged! And stories from Rwanda, my God! I did not know how to act! This is a country where women’s rights are upheld to “high” standards, a country where 61% of parliament seats are occupied by women.
I would love to meet one of the 61%. I have a few suggestions and requests I think should be heard and taken into consideration.
I applaud your work and efforts into making our country worth being called home. Your contribution is highly appreciated and worth being acclaimed. But as we celebrate, we need to realize the path to fully achieve women’s safety and autonomy is still long and stony. Today I come to you to discuss the recent events that have been crowding our media outlets. If you still cannot guess where this is going, well it is an open conversation about rape and gender-based violence in our community. It is shameful that in 2020, we still have rapists roaming the streets and not held accountable for their actions. It is a shame that we still punish women for abortion and have abusive men living in our community freely. It is a shame that we still shame rape victims and cover-up for the actions of our fathers, brothers, uncles, neighbours. It is a shame we still have 19,832 teen pregnancies and yet we still second guess them when they tell their stories. We are failing our fellow women and this here is my biggest disappointment.
How do we solve this problem? How can we create a safer country for ourselves, our mothers, sisters, daughters?
For years, men have always looked out for each other, stood together through thick and thin. I think it is high time, we women need to do the same for each other. Justice will never be handed out to us, we will have to fight for it and your honorables can be at the forefront of this war. We need to educate the society about the matter, we need society to understand the concept of consent, we need the masses to know their sexual rights. We need to stay alive and feel safe. The change will not be handed to us instead, it will be earned and we owe this to our fellow women and future generations of women to come.
Dear all, let us not just be another statistic, quoting His Excellency President Paul Kagame “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance”. This our opportunity to change the fate of women of Rwanda.
Thank you for your precious time honorables.