The Republic of Rwanda has an estimated population of 10.2 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Kigali. Rwanda has an area of 26,338 sq km (10,169 sq miles). The main languages are Kinyarwanda (official), French (official), English (official), and Swahili.
Africa’s most densely populated country, Rwanda gained independence in 1962 from Belgium. Decades of ethnic tensions between the dominant Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority led to the deterioration of the country. In 1994, Rwanda experienced Africa’s worst genocide. Within 100 days, nearly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were brutally murdered and up to 500,000 women were raped.
Rwanda has made considerable progress in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Women currently make up 56 percent of the parliament. However, despite these achievements, many challenges of inequality between men and women still exist.