Traditionally, like most African societies, Rwandan women were reserved for domestic chores and there were many stereotypes and forms of discrimination that stopped them from progressing.
Over the last 20 years, Rwanda have witnessed women play a significant role in the ongoing transformation of the country.
Experts in gender equality have asked women to take use of favourable policies by government and men’s support in order to thrive and prosper.
The call comes after Rwanda has been ranked globally as having gender friendly policies, men who have come out to support women to attain their rights as opposed to the cultural norms restricting women.
Tumi Frazier, professional international speaker from South Africa says Rwanda’s leadership has done a tremendous jobtowards putting in place a friendly environment for women to participate at all levels of economy.
“It really shows that if women are empowered here because they have supportive men and government so they need to step out in faith and thrive,” she told this website in an exclusive interview on Saturday.
She adds, “I salute the leaders and men in Rwanda for what they have achieved because it can really be seen.”
On access to credit, experts say there is need for women take on risks like men and convince financial institutions that they think big and can do business as well.
“Banks seem to have a notion that women don’t think and the banks are looking at ‘Am I getting back my money’, so I think one more thing is women should take risks and show they can,” she said.
To grab these opportunities, Tumi says women need to take advantages of the use of technology and increase connections, be assertive, self-confident which is vital in augmenting their competitiveness.
“You can have all the laws and policies that favour equality but if women don’t believe it is possible andinvest themselves, they can’t do it,” said Stacey Speller, International speaker and personal growth Expert from United States.
Speller said thereis needto provide skills,tools that would help women compete while also changing patriarchal mind set and traditional normsthat affect women as they grow and make them fear.
“It’s all about exposure, ensure that women have resources and corporations and government have to play a big role in this,” she added.
The two speakers are in the country where they will deliver key note presentations at the women’s summit to be held on March 8 at Kigali Serena organized by Kora associates, new faces new voices Rwanda chapter and IFC World Bank Group.