Rose Kabuye – Rwanda

Linked with Assuming Authority.

She says: “At some point, I realized that other women were not there—that I was alone in all the meetings”. And: “Why should their (women’s) ideas be left behind? I always remind people that we can’t ignore 54 percent of the country—whether in the army, in the police, in decision making. We are leaving a big part of the population out. I say all the time, don’t look at them as women, look at them as … people! As Rwandans”. (See on women waging peace).

Rose Kabuye, Rwanda very small.jpg

Rose Kabuye – Rwanda

go to Harvard’s JFK Jr. Forum Video and Podcast Archive, click there on the Nov 13, 2001 video: ‘Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies‘, and listen to it (1h 21 minutes).

A difference that Kabuye has already made is with talking to women from other conflict areas. “In the course of a day, I work with women from both [Hutu and Tutsi] groups. We get new ideas and hear about new ways to tackle the obstacles we face.” Rwandans throughout the country have been trying to bridge the divide between Hutus and Tutsis.

The government’s Unity and Reconciliation Commission sets up regular meetings for people of all ethnic groups where they eat, sleep, and share ideas together. “We learn about each other’s history, about the experiences of the other side,” Kabuye explains. (Read all on Hunt Alternatives Fund).

Rose Kabuye was raised in a Ugandan refugee camp following her parents’ flight from Rwanda because of Hutu-Tutsi violence. Upon finishing her university studies in 1985, she joined the fighting forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, an opposition movement and guerrilla army. She was appointed mayor of Kigali after the 1994 genocide and later served as a member of Parliament for two years, chairing the Security and Defense Committee. In charge of supplies and stores in the Rwandan army, Lieutenant Colonel Kabuye is also the chair of the Political and Judicial Commission of the Rwandan Leadership Conference, a domestic spinoff of the Women as Partners for Peace in Africa program. This initiative of the US Department of State brought together women from Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in pursuit of peace and regional stability. (Read all on Orwell Today).

One of the legacies of the 1994 genocide, in which as many as 800,000 people were killed in an ethnic holocaust pitting the dominant Hutu group against the less populous Tutsis, is that Rwandan women are now a majority — making up 56 percent of the population — and have more political power than they ever had before the war. But for every Rose Kabuye, there are thousands of genocide widows, many of whom were brutally raped and beaten during the war, who continue to suffer trauma and isolation. It’s an odd paradox: being victimized yet empowered. For the first time in the country’s history, women now have rights of inheritance, and a gender task force in parliament systematically reviews past and pending legislation to see whether the needs of women are reflected. (Read all on SFgate.com).

… Today I had lunch with Rose KABUYE (they always alphabetize family names in Rwanda). She sent her car, with a soldier and personal assistant, to pick me up and deliver me to where she was having her hair done. Then we proceeded to her lovely house to have a nice meeting and lunch. I must interject that she pays half of what I pay a month for a beautiful house for her family. Next time I will have to get my own set-up. Back to Rose – I was very pleased to see her after a long hiatus. I was most appreciative because she gave me some clarity with regard to the work I am doing with the AIDS commission and I now have a plan of action for the remainder of the time … (Read all on the blog ‘Always Rwanda‘, by Kelly, and go to Sept. 26, 2003).

Bio: Rose Kabuye was raised in a Ugandan refugee camp following her parents’ flight from Rwanda because of Hutu-Tutsi violence. Upon finishing her university studies in 1985, she joined the fighting forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, an opposition movement and guerrilla army. She was appointed mayor of Kigali after the 1994 genocide and later served as a member of Parliament for two years, chairing the Security and Defense Committee. In charge of supplies and stores in the Rwandan army, Lieutenant Colonel Kabuye is also the chair of the Political and Judicial Commission of the Rwandan Leadership Conference, a domestic spinoff of the Women as Partners for Peace in Africa program. This initiative of the US Department of State brought together women from Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in pursuit of peace and regional stability. (Read this and an interview on women waging peace).

links:

Rwanda Development Gateway;

geocities.com;

women warpeace.org;

RUGO.org.

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