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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender balance and the meanings of women in governance in post-genocide Rwanda
Author:Burnet, Jennie E.ISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Rwanda
Subjects:gender inequality
political participation
women politicians
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/27667045
Abstract:Across Africa, many countries have taken initiatives to increase the participation and representation of women in governance. Yet it is unclear what meaning these initiatives have in authoritarian, single-party States like Rwanda. Since seizing power in 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has taken many steps to increase the participation of women in politics such as creating a Ministry of Gender, organizing women's councils at all levels of government, and instituting an electoral system with reserved seats for women in the national parliament. This article explores the dramatic increase in women's participation in public life and representation in governance and the increasing authoritarianism of the Rwandan State under the guise of 'democratization'. The increased political participation of women in Rwanda represents a paradox in the short term: as their participation has increased, women's ability to influence policymaking has decreased. In the long term, however, increased female representation in government could prepare the path for their meaningful participation in a genuine democracy because of a transformation in political subjectivity. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]