Leadership Emergence in Post-Genocide Rwanda:
The role of Women in Peacebuilding
Keywords:leadership emergence, peacebuilding, genocide, rwanda
In the last two decades following the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has been praised internationally for its strong leadership and revamped governance structures. This has resulted in rapid economic development, restorative justice, homegrown peacebuilding approaches, the tackling of corruption, and restoring security in a country that some analysts had prematurely depicted a hopeless case in state failure. In particular, promotion of women’s rights has become a cornerstone of the Rwandan success story, but few scholars have examined the women who participated in this process and their positive contribution in rebuilding their communities. This article focuses on the role a small group of female leaders at different levels of society played in creating and fostering peacebuilding initiatives over the past two decades. It relies on secondary sources and the author’s observations of several processes in the Rwandan society for more than a decade. It focuses on constructive steps taken in Rwandan society to promote women’s leadership, which sets it apart from many other post-conflict countries while being aware of legitimate critiques of post-genocide Rwandan conditions.