Rwandan Women Rising
Discussion Guide

What are the roles of government officials in advancing the inclusion of women?

Therese Bishagara is a senator and molecular biologist who led the Kigali Health Institute from 1996 to 2004.

Book Excerpts

Observers wonder if the advancement of women leaders, like many of the other impressive experiments under way, will prove vulnerable

if it’s over-reliant on support from the government, the ruling party, or the man at the top.

—Rwandan Women Rising, p. 329

 “[Kagame’s] decision to appoint women makes all the difference, especially among older people and men who don’t want to

cede ground. If the President thinks a woman can lead, who are you to say she can’t?”

—Women’s rights leader Dinah Musindarwezo, in Rwandan Women Rising, p. 95

Discussion Questions

  • Do programs and initiatives heavily supported or pushed by a government really work?
  • What can international NGOs, policy makers, and civil society do to create a sustainable model?
  • Is the mere presence of women helpful to the overall cause if men are ultimately making the decisions?

June 2017 | Duke University Press