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Rwandan woman becomes first female convicted of genocide

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It seems like everyday you hear of a woman breaking through yet another barrier, pursuing a career that was historically unavailable to her. Usually this is cause for celebration, but today there's been a "first" for women that's less laudable. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Rwanda's former minister for family and women affairs, has achieved the distinction of being the first women ever convicted of genocide. She and her son, Arsene Ntahobali, a former militia leader, were additionally convicted of crimes against humanity, including rape.

The mother and son helped to abduct hundreds of Tutsis who were assaulted, raped, and killed in the southern region of Butare. It's puzzling and disturbing that a woman who was charged with the political welfare of families and women would directly facilitate the sexual and physical assault of women. It's a sad reminder that both men and women are capable of aiding and committing atrocities.

Both mother and son were sentenced to life in prison.