Public Diplomacy in Kigali initiated a Women’s Only Day

The Public Diplomacy Section initiated a “Women’s Only Day” in the American Center to encourage women’s engagement, participation, and use of the American Center.  Starting January 5, on every other Thursday the American Center Kigali will be open to women ONLY.  Opening hours will continue to be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The main goal of this initiative is to provide a “free” platform for women to engage other women on issues that matter to them.

The inaugural women’ program was a “Women’s Conversation with Chargé d’Affaires Deb MacLean” that took place in the American Center on Thursday January 5, 2023.   She discussed her experiences as a female diplomat and as a woman living in different societies around the world.  Participants also shared their own testimonies and challenges as women in the modern world.  Fifty-six women including students, teachers, medical doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs attended the event.  The inaugural session was also an opportunity to inform the audience Mission Rwanda has dedicated a special day to women only.

Women’s Day in the American Center is a response to the comparatively low number of women visitors and program participants in our space.  We noticed even in situations where women and men attend our events, the men would be more engaged than women.  Upon conducting one-on-one conversations with women, we discovered women felt dominated by men and were not as confident to express themselves.

We hope to engage the Embassy community (women), the Alumni community, and our partners on this initiative.