Rwandese School Girl © Xenia Hausner

Kigali, the Rwandese Capital ©Xenia Hausner

In the FAWE-School ©Xenia Hausner

Girls: Fit for Leadership! These girls in the FAWE-school in the Rwandese capital Kigali look like they are eager to learn how to become a leader!

Rwanda - Girls: Fit for Leadership! Empowerment Strategies for “Young Future Leaders”

Model project Girls’ Parliament in Rwanda

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2004 and the 10-year commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda, Women without Borders invited the Rwandan Member of Parliament Connie Bwiza Sekamana to a public event on March 8th 2004 - "Frauen machen Frieden - Peace is a Gender Issue" - in Vienna. In the course of this, the idea for the following project was born.

Rwanda went through a traumatic time and the female part of the population was affected by the atrocities in a very specific way. The average age of Rwanda’s population is around 18 years. After the genocide in 1994, the population consisted of 70% of women and girls. The women proved their competence, helped rebuild the country and convinced their society that the participation of women in political and social life is the most important foundation for a democratic civil society.

The youth is now faced with the responsible challenge of stabilizing the country and leading it towards a safe future. The growing female potential especially needs to be won for this: made fit for leadership through training and an innovative "New-Girls-Network".

20 young women between the ages of 16 to 19 will participate in this year-long workshop project, supported by the Austrian Ministry for Social Affairs, in Kigali, Rwanda. Women without Borders is developing a curriculum as the base for the Girls’ Parliament Workshops. The design of the curriculum is in such a manner that girls groups can work with it long-term and independently under local supervision, in order to guarantee the sustainability of the program.

Furthermore, we will establish a forum for girls covering topics on democracy, participation, civil society and gender, and trains girls and prepares them for their future political roles on a pedagogical and interactive basis. The creation of opportunities for girls that they can (continue to) develop, train and apply their abilities concerning leadership, decision making processes and communication and the establishment of the international girls network "Girls without Borders", through which they can exchange their ideas, experiences, and support each other as well as a concrete approach to coming to terms with the past mark further goals of the project.

The key word "Never again!" will be given substance by this international initiative and it will contribute to the national reconciliation and international redress.

This project was funded by the Austrian Ministry for Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and ended in June 2006. Please click on the following link to download the trainings handbook “Bee what you want to be”.
Our project manager Georgina Nitzsche was in Kigali in June 2006. Here you can read a background story on this final visit.



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