- Recently Rwanda received global attention for its efforts to encourage female representation in government by its announcement for a gender balanced cabinet.
- Rwanda declared that women would be making up 50 percent of its now 26-seat cabinet.
- Rwanda already has sixty one percent of Parliament members as women.
- Background: Rwanda move for gender balanced cabinet comes two days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s announced fifty percent women members in his cabinet.
- Rwanda and Ethiopia joins a handful of countries, mostly European, where women make up 50% or more of ministerial positions, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women.
- Women recognition: The move highlights the increasing significance of women decision-making roles that have led to a decrease in gender discrimination and gender-based crimes.
- Comparison with USA and Canada:
- Canada, formed the country’s first gender-equitable cabinet in 2015.
- But the U.S. has yet to achieve such a balance as just over 27 percent of roles are held by women, with the cabinet composed of 16 men and six women.
- Barack Obama term: Former President Barack Obama’s administration saw women occupy 30 percent of cabinet positions during his first term. That number rose to 35 percent in his second term.
- Bill Clinton’s term: Meanwhile, 32 percent of senior-level cabinet positions were held by women during former President Bill Clinton’s first term. During his second term, 41 percent were filled by women.