Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Rebecca Mae Salokar; Mary L. Volcansek | Go to book overview

SYLVIE KANIGI (1953–)

Sylvie Kanigi became the first woman prime minister of Burundi, a small central African nation, in mid-1993. Her appointment, followed less than a month later by that of Agathe Uwilingiyimana* as prime minister in neighboring Rwanda, marks a political watershed in modern African history. Like Uwilingiyimana, Kanigi became her country’s head of government at a crucial time in the political transition away from dictatorship and minority ethnic rule to attempts at liberal democracy. While she was in office for only about one year, her tenure in that post certainly has left a lasting impact on Burundi, one of Africa’s most troubled nations. Like neighboring Rwanda, Burundi has suffered through periods of ethnic genocide in the past 30 years.


CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Unfortunately, very little is known in the West about Kanigi’s early life. She is a member of the Tutsi ethnic minority, which for centuries ruled in both Rwanda and Burundi over the majority Hutus. However, she overcame the hostility between the two groups, marrying a Hutu man, who died in 1993, and raising five children with him.1 A graduate in economic management from Burundi University, Kanigi held economic civil service jobs until 1991, when she was made senior consultant in the prime minister’s office. There she was in charge of economic reform and reported directly to the president and prime minister.

Kanigi had the difficult job of trimming the budget deficit by slashing funding for a Tutsi-dominated army long accustomed to preferential treatment. A key part of her job in 1992 and 1993 was to deal with Western donors demanding economic changes in Burundi, a former Belgian colony whose economy is heav-

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Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editorial Advisory Board vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Florence Ellinwood Allen (1884–1966) 17
  • Mary Arden (1947–) 25
  • Anita Augsburg (1857–1943) 31
  • Suzanne Bastid-Basdevant (1906–) 34
  • Miriam Ben-Porat (1918–) 38
  • Myra Bradwell (1831–1882) 45
  • Beverly Blair Cook (1927–) 51
  • Irene R. Cortes (1920–) 62
  • Takako Doi (1928–) 68
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–) 78
  • Brenda Marjorie Hale (1945–) 88
  • Rosalyn Higgins (1937–) 94
  • Leonilde Iotti (1920–) 101
  • Barbara Charline Jordan (1936–1996) 112
  • Sylvie Kanigi (1953–) 118
  • Carrie Burnham Kilgore (1838–1909) 123
  • Helen Kinnear (1894–1970) 129
  • Claire L’Heureux-DubÉ (1927–) 136
  • Jutta Limbach (1934–) 144
  • Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894–1988) 150
  • Beverley McIachlin (1943–) 159
  • Soia Mentschikoff (1915–1984) 171
  • Constance Baker Motley (1921–) 180
  • Emily Ferguson Murphy (1868–1933) 190
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1938–) 202
  • Sandra Day O’Connor (1930–) 210
  • Sadako Ogata (1927–) 219
  • Cecilia MuÑoz Palma (1913–) 231
  • Tamar Pelleg-Sryck (1926–) 237
  • Janet Reno (1938–) 248
  • Mary Robinson (1944–) 257
  • Flerida Ruth P. Romero (193?–) 266
  • Simone RozÈs-Ludwig (1920–) 271
  • Wiltraut Rupp-Von BrÜnneck (1912–1977) 277
  • Helga Seibert (1939–) 283
  • Elisabeth Selbert (1896–1986) 288
  • Margaret a. Somerville (1942–) 292
  • Helene StÖcker (1869–1943) 299
  • Helen Suzman (1917–) 304
  • Leah Tsemel (1945–) 312
  • Agathe Uwilingiyimana (1953–1994) 323
  • Simone Veil-Jacob (1927–) 329
  • Bertha Wilson (1923–) 338
  • Appendix 349
  • Selected Bibliography 353
  • Index 357
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
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