A hundred members of the private sector, government officials, gender equality activists from different countries have concluded a forum that seeks to bring a revolution in women’s leadership.
Organised by Global Platform of Entrepreneurial Women (PLAMFE), a forum that seeks to break down the barriers to entrepreneurship for women hold their meet-up in Kigali.
Their discussions revolved around the promotion of gender innovation in women’s leadership to accelerate post COVID-19 recovery.
One of the speakers Agnes Monnet Mayor of Agou community in Ivory Coast said that in this era, women can assume leadership positions like women without defining themselves in a man’s perspective.
However, this will require them to be able to balance other responsibilities of a mother and a wife in which they cannot delegate.
“When I presented myself to run for office for the first time, I was speaking like a man but, nobody was following what I was saying and I lost,” she said.
“The second time I adjusted and spoke to the public as a daughter to some and a mother to others and it worked.”
In the discussions, the women agreed on a principle that being a woman is not a barrier but, an asset; women can successfully venture into several areas.
They can perform well in decision making positions as Rwanda shows that example.
They can also afford leadership in highly professional environments in energy, finance, education, innovative agriculture among others.
According to Otto Vianney Muhinda from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) Rwanda, Africa can assure food security if women are organized and empowered in all levels.
“Women constitute the majority players in agriculture sector. If more resources are invested in them, we can develop the production chain and stop importing basic food like maize from Europe,” Muhinda said.
Désirée Djomand PLAMFE global representative said that this year, the forum is unique in that it enabled members to establish a follow up mechanism, so that their gatherings are not just another meeting.
“This is the 6th forum which means the other ones we were getting women to realize the kind of potential they have. This time we choose to learn from Rwanda which set precedents in women in leadership,” Djomand said.
PLAMFE Rwanda representative Agatesi Marie Laetitia Mugabo said that while participants expected to learn a lot from Rwanda, the Rwandan women equally had a lot to learn from other members.
Meanwhile, Rwanda’s former senator Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba was chosen as PLAMFE Ambassador alongside Agnes Monnet, the Mayor of Agou community.