Rwanda now ranks among the top three countries in Africa where a girl would wish is home.
Save the Children, an international organization for children’s rights conducted the rankings on the situation of the girls in 144 countries. It placed Rwanda third in Africa and first in Sub Saharan Africa region.
Rwanda also comes among top 50 countries in the world on this list where European countries are leading.
“The worst places to be a girl are the poorest countries in the world,” said the report titled Every Last Girl: Free to live, free to learn, free from harm. It was published on the World international day of the Girl-October 11.
On the girl opportunity index, the report gave a snapshot of the situation of girls in countries of the world over their opportunity to control their own lives and to fulfill their potential.
The index considered six indicators including; child marriage, adolescent fertility, maternal mortality which refers to girls’ access to good-quality healthcare, the female Members of Parliament as compared to their male counterparts and lower secondary school completion.
The 20 countries at the bottom of the index, reads the report, are all low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These countries have extremely high rates of deprivation across all of the selected indicators.
For example in Niger 76% of young women were married before they were 18, and one in five adolescent girls gives birth a year on average.
However, a few countries in Sub Saharan Africa, despite also being in this range of poor countries make a difference.
“Rwanda for example, has the highest proportion of female MPs in the world, and is also doing comparatively well in preventing child marriage and adolescent pregnancies compared with other low-income countries.”
“Only three of the countries with the highest proportion of female MPs are high income countries –Sweden, Finland and Spain,” reads the report.
Rwanda tops the table with 64% of female MPs, followed by Bolivia and Cuba. In contrast, only 19% of MPs in the USA are women and only 29% in the UK.
As a result, Rwanda is at position 49 in the index, compared to Burundi and Tanzania at 107 and118 respectively.
In other indicators, Rwanda also does far better than many countries in the world as far as giving a girl a better world is concerned.
For example, the burden to bear many children is drastically decreasing. The fertility rate decreased to 4.2 children last year, from 6.1 children in 2005.
Rwandan girls/ladies agree with the report, because they say, the country gives them the same opportunity as their male counterparts in all sectors.
Pamela Mudakikwa, a civil servant told KT Press, “Since I started my education, I never felt any limit to compete with boys and I was never held back because of being a girl.”
Delphine Uwanyirigira, a lawyer said, “the legal context of Rwanda treats men and women alike which helps everyone to develop.”
The newly amended family law provides for property inheritance for children of both sexes. In the past, only a boy was entitled to inheritance of family properties.
Gisele Uwitonze, a trader said, “a country with a high number of female lawmakers in itself gives us confidence that our rights are protected.”