Cherie Blair, the wife to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has told men to stop beating their wives, saying the practice drags family progress.
“It’s time for good men to tell other men who beat their wives and drink the family money that it’s no longer acceptable.”
She made the remarks in U.S. during the annual high level global conference on Investments and Developing Markets held at Milken Institute in Los Angeles, California.
The conference was attended by 3500 global business leaders, investors and philanthropists.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is also at the conference.
Cherie urged global leaders to emulate Rwanda where women’s conditions are improving.
Rwanda’s women make up 51.8% of the country’s 11 million population and they are as active as men in all sectors including; business, education and leadership from local to national level.
Women are now involved into decision making positions, with a parliament made of 64% women, and a cabinet with 40.6%.
Under Rwanda’s Education policy where girls were previously not allowed to study, are now benefiting from several initiatives promoting girl education.
Out of the 11,000 students admitted at university of Rwanda last year, over 3300 (30.3%) were girls.
Promotion of girl education goes hand in hand with curbing gender based violence.
Rwanda has established a one-stop-centers across the country to handle cases of gender based violence.
At these centers, victims of gender based violence and child abuse can find a whole range of services such as; medical care, psychosocial support, police and legal support.
Meanwhile, at the same panel with Cherie, President Kagame said Rwanda’s economy has been growing at a rate of 7-8% in the past twelve years because the country’s women and men are equally participating in development.
“Achieving gender parity is a joint project between men and women. It requires steps not incremental,” the president said.
He illustrate aspects of gender equality. “I have three sons and a daughter. I don’t have to think about how to treat one differently, they are all my children.”