While it would be obscene to suggest that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda produced any silver lining, “it did create a natural—or unnatural—experiment, as the country’s social, economic, and political institutions were wiped out by the genocide,” writes Hunt, Harvard’s founding director of the Women and Public Policy program. That experiment produced a revitalized role for women in Rwandan politics and civil society. “No longer confined to positions of influence in the home, they have become a force from the smallest village council to the highest echelons of national government.”

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