Last month Rwanda's parliament became the first in the world where women have a majority, with 56 percent of the seats held by women. As the country rebuilt after the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people were killed and many women were systematically raped, President Paul Kagame enforced policies to help women economically and politically. In 2003 the constitution was rewritten to require that 30 percent of parliamentary and cabinet seats go to women. So far the parliament has repealed the law that prevents women from inheriting land and passed bills to combat domestic violence and child abuse. A committee is combing through the legal code to purge it of more discriminatory laws. "The fact that we are so many has made it possible for men to listen to our views," said lawmaker Espérance Mwiza. "Now that we're a majority, we can do even more." [The Washington Post]

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