Judith Suminwa Tuluka becomes DR Congo’s first-ever female prime minister

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President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo has appointed Judith Suminwa as the country’s first-ever female prime minister.

  • President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo has appointed Judith Suminwa as the country’s first-ever female prime minister.
  • Over the years, African countries have been making significant moves towards gender equality in politics.
  • The new prime minister will be entrusted with advancing the president’s stated priorities, which include employment, youth empowerment, women’s issues, and fostering national cohesion.

This appointment comes weeks after Tshisekedi’s inauguration for a second term in January, Reuters reported.

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The process involved a lengthy search for a majority coalition in the National Assembly, a prerequisite before the appointment of a prime minister and the formation of a government.

“The task is big, the challenges are immense but together… we will get there. I am aware of the great responsibility … We will work for peace and the development of the country,” Suminwa said on national television.

The new prime minister will be entrusted with advancing the president’s stated priorities, which include employment, youth empowerment, women’s issues, and fostering national cohesion.

The authorities face several challenges, including a deteriorating conflict and humanitarian crisis in eastern regions, as well as the management of Congo’s significant mineral wealth.

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During his first term, Tshisekedi pledged to eradicate entrenched corruption, revive the economy, address profound inequalities, and mitigate insecurity in the East. However, critics argue that he failed to deliver on all fronts.

African women in politics

Over the years, African countries have been making significant moves towards gender equality in politics. Though it is still a work in progress, there have been notable improvements.

For instance, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Rwanda is a global leader in parliamentary gender diversity, boasting an impressive 61.3% of women in its parliament, ahead of 186 other countries in the world.

While Congo may not rank among the top 10 African countries in terms of gender equality in politics, this new development is a positive step forward.

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Studies have shown that having more women in parliament leads to more policies that address issues affecting everyone, such as childcare, maternal health, and equal pay.

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