We are pleased to introduce our amazing new Rwanda Program Director, Dativah! Dativah is one inspiring woman- she ran for parliament in her local district and is a passionate advocate for women. We feel so fortunate to have her on our team!

140613_KOMERA-GFR097Name: Dativiah
Education: BAA and MBA in Strategic Management
Experience: Finance Administration, Strategic Planning and Planning, and Budgeting Manager at Rwanda’s Teacher College

1.Why is focusing on Gender equality and girls’ education important?
From my own life experience, I believe that Africa, and Rwanda in particular, should focus on ending gender inequality in order to break down the detrimental cultural norms that subjugate many young women.

I was 15 years old my father died. My mother was left with very little money and nine children to take care of. I was in senior two (10th grade) at the time of his death, but due to our extremely limited resources I had to drop out so my brothers could remain in school.

Even though I was not allowed to go to school, my passion for education could not be subdued. I decided to go to the local government to appeal to them for a scholarship to attend school. The government awarded me the scholarship and opened the door to opportunities that I could have never have experienced without it. I have been greatly impacted and empowered through my education, and I want every young woman to have the ability to feel how I felt. Education opens doors and gives young women the chance to make their future what they want it to be, and not what cultural norms and/or insufficient resources decide it should be.

2.How has Rwanda lead a way in Women’s Empowerment?
Rwanda has made a lot of progress when it comes to women’s empowerment. Women now have a voice, and it is being heard across the nation and around the world via the female-majority lead Rwandan parliament. The country now ranks number one in the world in terms of highest participation of women in Parliament.

3.Why does the Rwandan government believe the work we are doing is important? 
We believe that Komera is contributing much towards the Rwandan girls’ policy (April 2008) with an overall objective of ‘‘guiding and promoting a sustainable action aimed at the progressive elimination of gender disparities in education and training as well as in management structures’’.