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Women and Political Leadership

Nkiru Nzegwu


This issue of Women in Leadership is dedicated to the memory of Agathe Uwilingiyimana (1953-94), Rwandan first female Prime Minister, who was killed in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Agathe Uwilingiyimana was Minister of Education from 1992 till her appointment as Premier in 1993. In 1994, President Habyarimana was killed with his Burundian colleague, President Cyprien Ntaryamira, when their plane was shot down on its way to Kigali airport. Following the political turmoil created by the death of the president, the Tutsi-dominated Presidential Guard killed Agathe, a Hutu and mother of six children, together with members of her family and ten Belgian soldiers, the day before she was to step down as Prime Minister. The killings of President Habyarimana and Premier Uwilingiyimana sparked off a civil war and genocide that claimed approximately one million Rwanda livesboth Hutus and Tutsis.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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