Political Gender Quota in Rwanda

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Author: Jessica Hansén; [2017]

Keywords: Social Sciences;

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to examine how increased female political participation has affected domestic gender-based violence in Rwanda. In 1994, Rwanda saw an estimated 800,000 people being killed in a genocide. The country’s economic, political and social structure was left in shambles. Post-genocide, women made up 70% of the population and were forced to take on new roles in the rebuilding of the country. Rwanda has since the end of the genocide taken gradual strides towards improving gender equality and reducing the prevalence of domestic gender-based violence, through the implementation of a multitude of policies and laws. The introduction of gender quotas has led to a clear increase in female political representation and participation. However, cultural norms and traditions remain deeply rooted and actual effects on the prevalence of domestic gender-based violence is debatable. Culture does not by itself change with the installment of new political directives or with the introduction of new programs and policies. This thesis bases its analysis on the theoretical frameworks’ of “Institutional theory” and “Doing gender” in order to understand the interaction between power-relations and the strong traditional social structures that Rwanda is built upon.

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