Kigali, 6 July 2014

President Kagame today said that Rwandan women have always merited dignity, what the liberation did was only to polish it and let it shine. While addressing hundreds of members of the National Women Council from all over the country who gathered to pay tribute to the Rwanda Army for liberating the country and giving women back their dignity, President Kagame drew the analogy of a just extracted pearl covered in mud and dust, that only needs cleaning for it to reflect its true value.

Advising the women to jealously protect their status, President Kagame said no one should accept low expectations:

“We have accepted for the world to have low expectations of us. Deserving respect is a result of your actions, your behaviors. Those who gave their lives for liberation did not do it for the world to define us as inferior to others. It is not about giving dignity to anyone. It is about each of us believing in and giving ourselves our own dignity. Giving ourselves dignity does not mean we are better than others or higher than our institutions or nation.”

Warning against self-aggrandizement, President Kagame said no one can benefit from placing themselves and their interests above that of the nation and its people because the nation means all Rwandans together.

“Liberation continues today. We are one family where those who get weak along the way are supported by the stronger ones. Every day we must make a choice, choose to play our part in achieving our liberation, as a nation not as individuals. The liberation struggle is also about those who gave the little they had for the liberation of our country. Let us continue to work together, build our nation and protect what we have achieved.”

President Kagame said people should never shy away from pointing out and standing up against wrong where their nation is concerned, because this would be betraying those who fought for liberation and lost their lives or lost their limbs.

As a gesture of appreciation to the army that liberated the country, members of the Women Council pleaded to provide electricity, water and cows to settlements of those who were disabled during the liberation war.