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Part II, “The Path to Public Leadership,” lays out nine major elements that came together to support the ascension of women. The women at the forefront of these initiatives describe how they developed, the challenges that arose, the inspiration that kept visions alive. Women assumed highly influential positions in the immediate aftermath of the genocide and increasingly as the country was rebuilt. The president was personally instrumental in women's rise by appointing them to prominent roles (mayor, cabinet minister, head of unity and reconciliation), not because they were women but because they were capable. These pioneers quickly proved themselves, modeling what was possible under women's leadership. While their advancement wasn't a revolution by design, some factors were deliberate—evidence of the vision and strategic foresight of key individuals. Other features of this story developed organically, out of necessity or characteristic of the times.

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