Source: The New Times

First Lady Jeannette Kagame has urged members of the Rwanda Women Leaders Network (RWLN) to continue innovating and protecting the progress that has been made, so that future generations can benefit and build on what has been achieved.

She made the remarks on March 1 during the launch of African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) Rwanda Chapter at Intare Conference Arena. The launch coincided with RWLN Summit was held under the theme "Building the Next Generation of Women Leaders".

The First Lady emphasized the importance of matching the terms "women leaders" with equality and equity, highlighting that it took leadership that placed citizens, especially women, at the forefront to recognise the value of women in the country.

She said that Rwanda has implemented laws and policies that prioritise gender equality and provide equal opportunities for men and women, including a national budget that allocates funds for women's development, capacity building, and advocacy institutions.

The First Lady also noted that building a strong family is a significant role for women, but it cannot be achieved alone, thus women need support, respect for their value, and peaceful living conditions to thrive and build strong families.

"We must take time to introspect and engage in numerous acts of kindness, so that the generations to come, born of our sons and daughters, will inherit a country where their aspirations and desires will know no bounds," she urged the women leaders.

To enhance the effectiveness of RWLN, the First Lady emphasised the importance of having a clear and achievable goal.

She urged the members to be intentional about what they want, understand the reasons for their fight, and have a well-planned strategy to achieve their goals. She also stressed the need for collaboration, support, and learning among members to create strong and visible changes.

Jeannette Bayisenge, Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, highlighted the goals of the Rwandan Women Leaders Network (RWLN), which includes sharing knowledge and expertise while maintaining their roles as mothers and educators.

She emphasized the importance of supporting new women in leadership by holding their hands and guiding them to success.

Bayisenge also discussed the need to implement gender equality and equity in decision-making positions and suggested that members of the network should approach this goal differently.

She expressed gratitude to the steering committee and members for their efforts and encouraged them to continue supporting the network to achieve its goals, leaving a legacy for the next generation.

Bayisenge also announced that the RWLN would be launching a website to allow new women leaders to apply for mentors in their respective fields.

She said that the move is aimed at creating and shaping future leaders and ensuring that the network continues to make a positive impact.

UN Women Country Representative, Jennet Kem, emphasized the importance of values and principles in guiding women leaders.

According to her, it is essential for women to define their values and ensure that they live by them. She suggested that values such as hard work, family, faith, excellence, and personal drive could guide them.

Kem also urged women leaders to scan their environment for challenges and co-create solutions to make their leadership impactful.

She emphasized the need for networking, communication, and collaboration, as women always need one another.

Kem also advised women leaders to be humble and modest, yet confident in speaking up about their results, encouraging them to make their results visible and known, as this would demonstrate their achievements as leaders.

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