Jean Luc Kubwimana, 40, woke up on August 6 to routine work, carrying passengers on his motorcycle, which is a source of daily income.
Later in the day, he received a phone call from a member of the motor taxi association informing him to join colleagues at Amahoro National Stadium for a campaign rally dubbed HeForSheIMPACT 10X10X10. He took up the challenge to append his signature, joining hundreds of other Rwandan men who have signed up.
In January this year, during the World Economic Forum in Davos-Switzerland, President Paul Kagame was the first to raise a hand in support of the campaign. He immediately signed and made commitments to support the campaign. Other leaders including UN Secretary General, heads of multi-nationals and leading academics joined too.
HeForShe is a UN-Women’s international initiative aimed at mobilizing everyone, especially men and youth, to create and increase awareness on gender equality, the fight against gender-based violence and promotion of ICT for all. Kagame places women’s emancipation at the forefront in his government.
“Men who stand by as a woman is violated are a bigger problem than the perpetrators,” said Kagame on August 18 at the launch of the 2nd Africa United Command Post Exercise in Kigali. The program is a Pan-African joint military exercise to increase security organs’ capacities to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.
Kagame added, “Together with others, I am a very proud champion of the campaign involving HeForShe, and I am inviting you to join.”
Kagame’s HeForShe championship since June this year has seen 1,150 men sign to join the campaign, countrywide.
Fatuma Ndangiza, deputy CEO of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), says the target is to get signatures of 100,000 champions before the end of the year.
UN-Women targets at least 500,000 global signatures. Currently, 418,159 signatures have been acquired globally, with US leading the campaign with 79,168 signatures.
For Rwanda, 46% of all decision-making positions at district level are held by women. The parliament has the highest number of women globally.
Eventually, the 2014 World Economic Forum Global Index Report ranked Rwanda as Africa’s best performer in closing the gender gap, and 7th out of 142 countries.
Source: PR Newswire & KT Press