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With Us or Against Us? Women In Power

On August 18th, a Rwandan young woman by the name of Liliane-Mugabekazi was arrested and charged with indecent dressing. The local Rwandan media reported that she could face a 2-year prison sentence. According to local Rwandan media, she could face a two-year prison sentence. Many people around the world had a lot to say about this arrest on social media, mostly because it contradicts what would be expected of a country with the highest percentage of female representation in government.


It is reasonable to assume that high female representation can help make a difference in achieving equality and protecting women's rights. When women are appointed to such positions, they represent a ray of hope for many voiceless women, and we expect them to serve the interests of women, even if that means going against their male coworkers, bosses and their traditions.


This is not unusual; we have seen women in positions of power fail to do their jobs of protecting and serving the interests of their fellow women. This is why I believe that achieving 50:50 representation in parliament or government positions does not automatically guarantee equality; rather, it is a step toward equality. Because of patriarchal environment and background, these women might even be used as pawns to uphold the very laws and policies that hold women back. And we can’t deny that sometimes, they're used as puppets put in place to "soften the look" and give people a false hope of equality and representation.


Some of these powerful women endanger gender equality, women's empowerment, and women's liberation. We must be aware that not all women are for women; some of these women uphold and support policies, laws, and beliefs that harm women. As Bell Hooks put it, women must be targeted in the fight against sexism, sexist exploitation, and all of that. Women must be encouraged to confront their own sexism toward other women, because only then will they be able to speak out when other women are victimized by individuals or laws.


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