In an after-school club in the southern Kamonyi district, teenage girls and boys act out plays based on what they've learned about combating gender stereotypes. In one, a boy questions his mother's decision to prioritize his education over his sister's, saying he can help with the housework and that the task shouldn't fall solely to his sister.
For Redempter Batete, 39, a gender specialist with UNICEF, teaching boys about women's rights is the logical next step. "If we don't target those little ones now, then we risk to lose out on opportunities when they grow up."
Rwanda is many years into an experiment whose inception -- the genocide -- will hopefully never be repeated anywhere. Kigali created the legislative scaffolding to help women rise, and is now working on empowering women and girls within their homes, but can change be achieved without robust top-down implementation and enforcement?
Rubagumya, the parliamentarian, knows the pain of feeling disenfranchised and powerless. "As a young girl, as a refugee, wherever you go, they look at you as somebody who doesn't belong there," she says, describing herself as part of "the first generation to come from nowhere" and enter power in Rwanda. Her family returned to Rwanda in 1997. Armed with a college degree and the zeal of a woman who finally felt at home, she set about changing her country, first as an administrator working on gender equality in the Ministry of Education and on girls' access to education, and now as a parliamentarian. She's proud of how far Rwanda and its women have come and is looking ahead to where she wants the country to be: "We have the frameworks, we have policies, we have laws, we have enforcement mechanisms... We've walked a journey, we've registered good achievements, but we still need to go further to make sure that at some point we shall be totally free of all imbalances."