Women and Media in Rwanda: a Winning Combination
As part of strengthening citizen participation the UNDP supports gender mainstreaming in decision making at all levels. The Deepening Democracy and Accountable Governance Program has created a gender mainstreaming strategy for the media. Results are showing already – during the recent ‘Development Journalism’ Awards Ceremony a female journalist took home top prize.
“ Ouh! … I couldn’t have imagined I would be the one walking away with the award!
Owner of Intego newspaper Louise Marie Uwizeyimana's face lit up as she was announced ‘Journalist of the Year’ in the 2013 Development Journalism Awards. She took home the much-coveted prize in recognition of her more than ten-year journey into this male-dominated field.
Always outspoken and passionate about justice, Marie Louise started out in law. Yet when she began working as a journalist in 2005 to support her law study, she saw the possibility of being a voice for the people. From here her career in the media began.
“Things have changed in the last five years … In general I would say we are marching towards press freedom.”
The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) and Association of Rwanda Journalist (ARJ) initiated and UNDP sponsored the awards as part of the Deepening Democracy and Accountable Governance Program. The One UN Resident Coordinator/ UNDP Representative Lamin M. Manneh cited Rwanda’s increasing media freedom as important for a truly democratic country.
“The awards provide an opportunity to showcase the great work done by journalists in promoting social, economic and political progress in Rwanda” he noted.
Marie Louise is the first ever female in Rwanda to win ‘Journalist of the Year Award’ as an independent journalist in print media and the first female to own an independent newspaper.
Marie Louise says…“I would like to use the money to continue studying, expand my newspaper into rural areas, and focus more on women’s issues by advocating for rural women in particular.”
The Deepening Democracy and Accountable Governance Program support efforts towards increasing citizen participation and inclusion in decision-making, media freedom and accountability in governance.