Rwandan women rising
Foremothers -- The pressure builds -- Stateless -- To arms -- Genocide -- Immediate aftermath -- Community training ground -- A pull from the top -- Emboldened ministry of gender -- Countrywide women's councils -- Caucus crucible -- Fanning out -- A new constitution -- The quota -- Pioneering in Parliament -- Spurring local leadership -- Bending toward reconciliation -- Bringing them together -- Bringing them home -- Rethinking rape -- To testify -- Off the sidelines -- Behind the statistics -- Risk and resignation -- The meaning of marriage -- Safety : a new language -- Challenging changes -- Unmasking ambition -- Health means whole -- Every body matters -- Transformative results -- Little ones -- Reading rights -- Solidarity and sisterhood -- Manning the movement -- Sowing confidence -- Flying high -- Bringing along the masses -- Charting new pathways -- Complements and compliments -- Coming up.; In the spring of 1994, the tiny African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by a genocide that left nearly a million dead. Neighbors attacked neighbors. Family members turned against their own. After the violence subsided, Rwanda's women-drawn by the necessity of protecting their families-carved out unlikely new roles for themselves as visionary pioneers creating stability and reconciliation in genocide's wake. Today, 64 percent of the seats in Rwanda's elected house of parliament are held by women, a number unrivaled by any other nation. While news of the Rwandan genocide reached all corners of the globe, the nation's recovery and the key role of women are less well known. In Rwandan Women Rising, Swanee Hunt shares the stories of some seventy women-heralded activists and unsung heroes alike-who overcame unfathomable brutality, unrecoverable loss, and unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society. Hunt, who has worked with women leaders in sixty countries for over two decades, points out that Rwandan women did not seek the limelight or set out to build a movement; rather, they organized around common problems such as health care, housing, and poverty to serve the greater good. Their victories were usually in groups and wide ranging, addressing issues such as rape, equality in marriage, female entrepreneurship, reproductive rights, education for girls, and mental health. These women's accomplishments provide important lessons for policy makers and activists who are working toward equality elsewhere in Africa and other post-conflict societies.