Local government interns to promote gender equality | New times


A total of 100 female leaders who graduated from a government-sponsored internship program are expected to increase gender equality in local government seats, activists said.

The internship organized by the local government authorities of Rwanda (RALGA), UN Women and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion ended with a graduation ceremony which took place on Friday.

Dubbed “Professional internship in local administration for recent university graduates”, the program ran from February to October 2021.

Presented for its second edition, it targeted recent university graduates who have demonstrated exceptional performance in their college studies.

Ladislas Ngendahimana, General Secretary of RALGA explained the idea behind the initiative.

“Our leadership is dominated by women is a laudable decision, but development is not natural, it is sought, nurtured and fought. This is why we are training these young leaders to prepare the future cohorts of our leaders, ”he noted.

Ngendahimana affirmed that this program which started in 2019 has a strong ambition to empower women and girls to work in local authorities.

Some of the interns were content to hold local government positions in the recently concluded elections, and 20 of them were successful.

Solange Umutesi, Executive Administrator of Kicukiro District spoke about the increased role of fellowship in nurturing young leaders and addressing unemployment issues.

“Scholarships like these enlighten young women and show them the potential and opportunities they have in the workplace. I’m sure these 20 newly elected fellows did not identify their capabilities before starting the internships, ”Umutesi observed.

Dr. Jeanette Bayisenge, Minister of Family and Gender Promotion applauded the graduate trainees, for having followed the training in difficult times.

“We appreciate your zeal, your passion and your motivation to complete this internship, during the difficult times of the pandemic,” she said.

She then explained why her institution chose to focus on local government:

“We prefer local government because it is the route of government services to the people, and we have to do it because even though we have 33% of local positions held by women, this is the minimum target, not the maximum, ”she noted.

One of the beneficiaries, Valentine Mukashya, a graduate in applied statistics from the University of Rwanda, says the internship has been beneficial for her career.

“Most of the time, we study things in theory, but this internship was an opportunity for me to go into the field, collect data and apply what I learned in real life”, she declared. New times.

The recent local elections saw women occupy 46 percent of local seats.

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