Rwanda names 50 percent female Cabinet, following Ethiopia

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By Associated Press

KIGALI: Two days after Ethiopia announced one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets with 50 percent women, Rwanda has done the same.

The East African nation late Thursday announced that women now make up half of the slimmed-down, 26-seat Cabinet.

Rwanda joins a handful of countries, mostly European, where women make up 50 percent or more of ministerial positions, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women.

The country has received international recognition for female representation in government, with women making up 61 percent of parliament members.

Ethiopia’s move this week was the latest in a series of dramatic political and economic reforms under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in April. Abiy reportedly told lawmakers that women are less corrupt than men.

“A higher number of women in decision-making roles have led to a decrease in gender discrimination and gender-based crimes,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Friday in remarks to judicial officials.

That doesn’t mean men shouldn’t be involved, the president said. “But you must play an important role in upholding the rights of women.”