Female parliamentary candidates from Democratic Green Party of Rwanda pledged to advocate for major changes in the upcoming parliament.
Democratic Green Party of Rwanda is the only political party which declared itself and registered in the country as an opposition party, for the upcoming parliamentary polls in which 14 out of 32 candidates are women.
Jacqueline Uwera, a parliamentary candidate on Green Party’s list said his first commitment is to intervene in advocacy to remove tax for women who start their own starting businesses.
“Women in Rwanda are mostly engaged in small businesses, taxing them at their starting point doesn’t encourage them, which pushes most of them to step down,” she said.
She also pointed at the teenagers’ pregnancy as a barrier of a number of their opportunity for development, “The growing rate of early pregnancy is a threat to women development, is a duty of women in parliament to influence the establishment of laws that overcome those barriers”, she added.
Angelique said in the daily life of Rwandans there are many issues which are not resolved by the ruling party and she wishes to join the parliament to give her hand to search for suitable solutions.
“I couldn’t join the ruling party when there is many things they are not implementing. The opposition was the only channel to raise my voice and thoughts,” she said.
Jacqueline Uwera campaining at Nyagatare, August 20
Masozera Icyizanye another candidate on the Green Party’s list said her first concern in parliament would be the issue of Gender based violence.
“From my experience, the time I was working at Haguruka, as Nongovernmental organization which fights for women rights, most of complaints consisted of gender based violence in households. Becoming a member of parliament will be an opportunity to revise laws that resolve problems of women Violence,” she said.
Besides, Masozera will advocate to remove the social inequalities which persist and the ruling party didn’t manage to remove them, she said.
She said many people told her not continue with politics because it’s risky, telling her that she will be jailed but she didn’t step down.
“In our country, women have a lot of responsibilities at home, and some times husbands can be against their commitment of being a politician. Problems start when time of taking care of their families decrease, but if someone is committed, she overcomes of these challenges,” Uwera said.
Claudine Uwase, a fruit retailers at Nyabugogo market, appreciated the party’s manifesto, but wondered about the implementation, “The issue of tax is very important, and is good to think about us as women, but Green Party’s power is still critical”, she says.
Emmanuel Karenzi, a resident of Nyarugenge who was at the campaign site, also wondered about the influence of their voice, “Parliamentarians do not implement what is in the law, they make laws, but implementation is another stage. Besides that, their voice in parliament cannot reach a half of vote when other MPs do not need to vote for yes to a given law”, he said.
A party wins seats in Rwanda Parliament when they have at least 5% of total votes, according to Rwanda Electoral commission officials.
Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has officially been registered by Rwanda Governance board on 9th August 2013 as one of 11 political parties operating in the country, Frank Habineza, the Chairman of the Party tried to run for presidency in 2017 presidential polls won by Paul Kagame. This year, they took initiative to run for parliament seats at their first time.