Women Leaders Forum in Bujumbura Launches “We are equal” Campaign

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Rwanda’s First Lady Jeannette Kagame attended a high-level Forum of Women Leaders FFL 2023 which kicked off (Oct. 9-11)in Burundi’s commercial capital Bujumbura.

The annual forum organised by Burundi’s Office of the First Lady for Development (OPDD) is being held under the theme;“Contribution of family planning to achieving good nutritional status and the demographic dividend”. And with a slogan: “Women leaders, let’s be champions of family planning, the key to well-being.”

According to details, the First Lady Jeannette Kagame joined others including the First Lady of Kenya Rachel Ruto, the First Lady of the island of Zanzibar, delegations from Ivory Coast, Guinea equatorial, China and many others.

The Resident Representative of the United Nations System in Burundi Abdou Dieng told the forum that Burundi has suffered a demographic explosion going from simple to triple over the last 4 decades.

“It is therefore necessary to develop strategies and policies to control demography otherwise it risks causing the deterioration of natural resources and infrastructure,” he said.

Addressing her hosts, development partners and participants, the First Lady of Burundi Angeline Ndayishimiye said that OPDD Burundi organizes every year a forum of women leaders to talk about women’s concerns in relation to development of the country and their contribution.

Mrs. Ndayishimiye indicated that Burundi, which wants to be an emerging country by 2040 and a developed country in 2060, must imperatively and first control demographic growth and thus women leaders must play an undeniable role.

According to the First Lady of Burundi, this forum aims to contribute to the acceleration of progress towards achieving good nutritional status and the demographic dividend through increased use of family planning.

Counting on the leadership and commitment of women in society, the First Lady, hoped that the participants would in turn become ambassadors of awareness of the issues linked to galloping demographics.

The Burundi First Lady also revealed that the meetings of this Forum mark the launch of a vast campaign “We are equal” of the Organization of First Ladies of Africa for Development (OPDAD) focused on education, health maternal and child health, women’s economic empowerment and the fight against sexual and gender-based violence.

In her presentation at the forum, Rwanda’s First Lady noted,“Dear sister Angeline, the country to which you dedicate yourself saw me born and grow and gave me offered so many beautiful memories that marked my childhood.”

Returning to the theme of the day, “the theme we are dealing with today touches the heart of our humanity and our progress as a civilization. It is undeniable that family planning and the fight against malnutrition require intersectoral interventions capable of accelerating progress in the 5 key areas of the Sustainable Development Goals. Beyond its economic justification, family planning embodies parental love, circumspection and duty towards our descendants and society,” she said.

Sharing Rwanda’s experience on family planning, she explained that between 2005-2020, contraceptive use among women increased from 17℅ to 64℅.

She noted that this development has made it possible to increase on average from 6 to 4 children per family. During the same period, the stunting rate fell by 18℅ thanks to the government’s program which committed not to let its guard down until the rate reaches 0℅.

According to the Rwandan First Lady, supporting and promoting family planning policy makes it possible to build a just and more humane society to have an active population able to meet the needs of the youngest.

Source : Taarifa News