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  • I came back to my home of Rwanda

  • two years after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

  • The country was devastated.

  • The children I was caring for in the hospitals

  • were dying from treatable conditions,

  • because we didn't have equipment or medicine to save them.

  • I was tempted to pack my bag and run away.

  • But I debated with myself.

  • And because I'm really dedicated to social justice and equity,

  • and there were only five pediatricians in total

  • for millions of children in Rwanda,

  • I decided to stay.

  • But among the people who have motivated my decision to stay,

  • there were some fantastic women of Rwanda,

  • some women who had faced the genocide and survived it.

  • They had to overcome unbelievable pain and suffering.

  • Some of them were raising children conceived through rape.

  • Others were dying slowly with HIV

  • and forgave the perpetrators, who voluntarily infected them

  • using HIV and rape as a weapon.

  • So, they inspired me.

  • If they can do that,

  • I can stay and try to do my best.

  • Those ladies were really activists

  • of peace and reconciliation.

  • They show us a way to rebuild a country

  • for our children and grandchildren to have, one day,

  • a place they can call home, with pride.

  • And you can ask yourself

  • where this shift of mindset has brought our country.

  • Today in Rwanda,

  • we have the highest percentage of women in parliament.

  • (Applause)

  • Wait till I tell you the percentage --

  • sixty-one percent.

  • (Applause)

  • Today, we have the best campaign for the vaccination of children

  • with, among our success, 93 percent of our girls vaccinated against HPV --

  • (Applause)

  • to protect them against cervical cancer.

  • In this country, it's 54.

  • (Laughter)

  • We have reduced child mortality by 75 percent,

  • maternal mortality by 80 percent.

  • In early 2000s,

  • there were nine women who were dying every day

  • around delivery and pregnancy.

  • Today, it's around two.

  • It's an unfinished agenda.

  • We still have a long way to go.

  • Two is still too much.

  • But, do I believe that those results

  • are because we had a big number of women

  • in power positions?

  • I do.

  • (Laughter)

  • There is -- yes --

  • (Applause)

  • there is a study in the developing world

  • that shows that if you improve the status of women,

  • you improve the status of the community where they live.

  • Up to 47 percent of decrease in child mortality.

  • And even in this country where we are now,

  • it's true.

  • There is a study by a lady called Patricia Homan,

  • who projected that if women and men

  • were at parity in state legislatures,

  • there would be a drop of 14.5 percent in child mortality --

  • in America!

  • So we know that women,

  • when they use their skills in leadership positions,

  • they enhance the entire population they are in charge of.

  • And imagine what would happen

  • if women were at parity with men all over the world.

  • What a huge benefit we could expect.

  • Hmm?

  • Oh, yeah.

  • (Applause)

  • Because in general,

  • we have a different style of leadership:

  • more inclusive,

  • more empathetic,

  • more caring for little children.

  • And this makes the difference.

  • Unfortunately, this ideal doesn't exist in the world,

  • and the difference between men and women in leadership positions

  • is too big.

  • Gender inequity is the norm in the majority of professions,

  • even in global health.

  • I have learned that if we focus on women's education,

  • we improve their life positively

  • as well as the well-being of their community.

  • This is why now I dedicate my life to education.

  • And this is totally aligned with my sense of equity

  • and my pursuit of social justice,

  • because if you want to increase access to health services,

  • you need first to increase access to health education.

  • So with friends and partners, we are building a beautiful university

  • in the rural north of Rwanda.

  • We educate our students

  • to provide quality, equitable, holistic care

  • to everyone, leaving no one out,

  • focusing on the vulnerable, especially women and children,

  • who are historically the last to be served.

  • We transform them into leaders

  • and give them managerial skills and advocacy skills

  • for them to be smooth changemakers

  • in the society where they will be,

  • so that they can build health systems

  • that allow them to care about the vulnerable where they are.

  • And it's really transformative.

  • Because currently,

  • medical education, for example,

  • is given in institutions based in cities,

  • focused on quality health services and skills, clinical skills,

  • to be given in institutions.

  • We also focus on quality clinical skills

  • but with biosocial approach to the condition of patient,

  • for care to be given in communities where the people live,

  • with hospitalization only when necessary.

  • And also,

  • after four to seven years of clinical education in cities,

  • young graduates don't want to go back to rural area.

  • So this is why we have built the University of Global Health Equity,

  • an initiative of Partners in Health, called UGHE,

  • in the rural north of Rwanda.

  • (Applause)

  • Our students

  • are meant to go and change the world.

  • They will come from all over -- it's a global university --

  • and will get the medical education for free

  • at one condition:

  • they have to serve the vulnerable across the world

  • during six to nine years.

  • They will keep the salary for themselves and their families

  • but turn the education we give in quality clinical services,

  • especially for the vulnerable.

  • And doing so,

  • they sign an agreement at the start that they will do that,

  • a binding agreement.

  • We don't want money.

  • We have to go and mobilize the money.

  • But they will turn this in quality service delivery for all.

  • For this, of course,

  • we need a strong gender equity agenda.

  • And in all our classes, master's course,

  • minimum of 50 percent of women.

  • (Applause)

  • And I'm proud to say

  • that for the medical school that started five months ago,

  • we have enrolled 70 percent girls.

  • (Applause)

  • This is a statement against the current inequity

  • for women to access medical education in our continent.

  • I believe in women's education.

  • This is why I applaud African ladies who go all over the world

  • to increase their education, their skills and their knowledge.

  • But I hope they will bring that back to Africa

  • to build the continent

  • and make the continent a strong continent,

  • because I'm sure

  • a stronger Africa will make the world stronger.

  • (Applause)

  • Twenty-three years ago,

  • I went back to Rwanda,

  • to a broken Rwanda,

  • that now is still a poor country

  • but shining with a bright future.

  • And I am full of joy to have come back,

  • even if some days were very difficult,

  • and even if some days I was depressed, because I didn't find a solution

  • and people were dying,

  • or things were not moving enough.

  • But I'm so proud to have contributed to improve my community.

  • And this makes me full of joy.

  • So, African women from the diaspora,

  • if you hear me,

  • never forget your homeland.

  • And when you are ready, come back home.

  • I did so.

  • It has fulfilled my life.

  • So, come back home.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I came back to my home of Rwanda

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婦女是如何在盧旺達進行革命的|Agnes Binagwaho (How women are revolutionizing Rwanda | Agnes Binagwaho)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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