The Promise and the Reality: Women's Rights in Rwanda

Pamela Abbott, Dickson Malunda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Rwanda is probably best known for two things: the 1994 genocide when the world stood by while upward of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed, and being the first country in the word to achieve the target of 50 per cent of parliamentarians being women. The latter is indicative of the stated commitment of the government to gender equality, the empowerment of women and promoting the rights of women. However, it is not evident that the policies have as yet had a significant impact on the lives of the majority of Rwandan women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-581
Number of pages21
JournalAfrican Journal of International and Comparative Law
Issue number4
Early online date30 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

No direct support has been received for the writing of this article. We would,
however, like to acknowledge the following bodies that have funded consultancies and research, the findings from which have informed the writing of this article: Access to Finance Rwanda, ActionAid Rwanda, Oxfam UK, DfID, UNFPA, UNICEA, UNWomen, African Capacity Building Foundation, Population Media Centre, World Bank, Norwegian People’s Aid and the Government of Rwanda. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of those who have collaborated with us on research projects on which we have drawn and with whom we have discussed the ideas in this article: John Rwirahira, Roger Mugisha, Lillian Mutesi, Corinne Tuyishime, Paul Kayira, Guy Lodge, Ngamije Festo, Brian Corry, Jose Marin, Fred Alinda, Hilary Homans, Roger Sapsford, Claire Wallace, Christian Haerpfer, Olive Kemiremb, Aime Tsinda and Marklin Rucogoza. Earlier versions of this article were given at the Women and Poverty: A Human Rights Perspective Conference, Kigali, April 2014, and at the International Sociological Association World Congress, Tokyo, August 2014.


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