New York, 22 September 2011

President Kagame on September 22 addressed the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting, calling on countries to scale up efforts to empower women. President Kagame was part of the panel that discussed global women empowerment under the theme: “Girls and Women: Scaling up what works”.

Calling on leaders from all sectors to embrace women empowerment to ensure that a balance in gender exists, President Kagame said: “The onus is on those who have been privileged in the past; men and boys, to make sure that we address this problem of imbalance. It is not that boys and men are doing a favour to women, it’s just about making sure that they work together to play their part in their own development and development of the country”.

President Kagame also addressed the session themed: “Engaging Boys and Men as Allies for Long Term Change” alongside other high profile panelists like Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Muhammad Yunis, International Director of Instituto Promundo, and Gary Barker, Chief Executive Officer of Roshan Karim Khoja. The panel was moderated by the Former President of the Republic of Chile, Michele Bachelet.

Referring to Rwanda as an example of women empowerment, President Bachelet urged President Kagame to share his advice with world leaders. President Kagame stated that the success of gender equality in Rwanda has been based on the institutionalization of women empowerment policies.

In his concluding remarks, President Kagame told the audience that empowering women is common sense and leaders from all sectors ought to embrace it.The session ended with a call to action for all CGI members and beyond to do their part to empower women and girls in partnership with boys and men.