Mali, in line with the international community, is celebrating International Women’s Day today March 8, it is an opportunity for us to make an assessment of the situation of Malian women under the six governments and regimes that have followed one another in Mali.
It should be recalled that the International Women’s Day, which was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, originated in the struggles of workers and suffragettes of the early twentieth century for better working conditions and the right to vote.
Since the accession of our country to independence in 1960, there have been six successive regimes. They are not alike, especially in the area of women’s advancement. If the socialist regime of President Modibo Kéita (8 years) marked the ground with the adoption of texts guaranteeing the right of women, the first elections and appointments of women, the 23 years of dictatorship of President Moussa Traoré made it slightly better.
Hope was reborn with the arrival of Alpha Oumar Konare, the first democratically elected president, but it is with Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT) that the promotion of women reached its peak while under the transitional regime of Prof. Dioncounda Traoré, was only transparent, waiting to be put back on the saddle with President IBK, after the multidimensional crisis of 2012 that our country has experienced.
During the First Republic, under President Modibo Keita, laws and texts favorable to women were adopted. These include: Law No. 62-17 / AN-RM of 3 February 1962 on the Malian Code of Marriage and Guardianship, which prohibited forced marriage; He had also receded the minimum age of marriage to 15 years.
The Modibo Kéita regime also initiated Law No. 62-66 / AN-RM of 6 August 1962 on the Code of Criminal Procedure. This code protected women under the age of 15 against rape. It also repressed abortion in all cases. There is the Labor Code (Act No. 62-97- / AN-RM of 9 August 1962), which recognized equal pay for both sexes.
In addition to the texts favorable to women, during the first legislature, Aoua Keita remained the only woman Parliamentary member. This number was increased to two with the election of Namissa Touré under the second legislature (1964-1967) out of a total of 80 Parlaimentary.
The Military Committee for National Liberation (CMLN) has strengthened certain texts taken under Modibo Kéita in favor of women. Ordinance No. 36 CMLN of 31 July 1973 provides for consultation of the wife for the marriage of her minor children.
Consent is essential for the adoption of a minor child. The mother may request the forfeiture of the unworthy father. Other provisions were provided for in the Constitution of 2 June 1974 by the Moussa Traoré regime for the advancement of women.
The regime also made a small improvement in the representativeness of women in the Chamber. Thus, from the first to the fourth legislature (23 years), the number of women deputies increased from 2 to 5 out of 82. During the military regime, only four women held ministerial posts and six served on the Economic and Social Council.
In this struggle for democratic openness, the commitment and sacrifice of women precipitated the fall of Moussa Traoré’s regime. At least fourteen women were killed and more than 160 wounded.
The transitional government had five women ministers. It was under the transition that Mali had for the first time a woman attorney general of the Republic (Mrs. Diakité Manassa Danioko) and a woman ambassador (Mrs. Mariko Aminata Touré) in Guinea-Conakry.
At the National Conference, women represented only 4.78% of the delegates (52 vs. 1034 men). Of the 52 women, four served on the presidium of the National Conference. They are Mrs Ly Madina Tall, 1st Vice-President, Mrs Sall Binta Ba, 4th Vice-President, Mrs Ndouré Bam Diarra, 5th Vice-President and Mrs Barka Lalla Maïga, 2nd Rapporteur-General.
The democratic era
The new Constitution of Mali (25 February 1992) guaranteed the equality of women and men.
Alpha Oumar Konaré
Under the 1st democratic legislature (1992-1997), the observation is bitter: only three women parliamentarians (out of 116) in the National Assembly, 2 less than in the fourth legislature of Moussa Traoré. They are Victorine Dakouo, Kané Nana Sanou and Konandji Nana Guidjilaye. As for the 2nd legislature (1997-2002) of the Third Republic, it holds the record of women elected to the Hemicycle. There were 18 women in the Assembly out of a total of 147. In ten years, President Konaré appointed twelve female ministers.
Some women held important positions of responsibility. These include Mrs Kéita Rokiatou N’Diaye, appointed Chief of Staff to the Presidency of the Republic in June 1992, Mrs Soumaré Niania Cissé, Director General of Taxes; Ms. Sy Assana, Director General of BIAO; Ms. Diakité Fatoumata Ndiaye, first woman Mediator (April 2002-2009).
It was under Alpha that for the first time a woman was seen directing the governorate of the district of Bamako: Mrs. Sy Kaditou Sow (April 1991-February 1994). Other women had promotions outside, including Ms. Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé. She was Executive Secretary (1993-2000) of the Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, based in Ouagadougou.
Amadou Toumani Touré
Under ATT, the 3rd legislature (2002-2007) of the National Assembly counted 14 women out of 147 deputies. In his second term, the 4th legislature (2007-2012 / 2013), there were 15 women MPs. In nine years nine months, the ATT regime appointed about twenty women ministers. A record!
Under this regime, women headed two strategic institutions of the Republic: the Supreme Court with Ms. Diallo Kaïta Kayentao (2006-2011); Head of the government with Ms. Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, (3 April 2011-22 March 2012). Women have never been as close to the presidency of the Republic as under ATT in terms of protocol and rank. Constitutionally, the Prime Minister, Mrs Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, replaces the President of the Republic in the event of a temporary vacancy of power.
Curiously, in the government of Mrs Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé (April 6, 2011), there were only (4) four women ministers out of a total of 32. It was Prime Minister Modibo Sidibé who trusted more Women. His government team on 3 October 2007 included (7) seven women out of 26 ministers. Other women held important positions: Ms. Diakité Fatoumata Ndiaye, first woman general secretary of the government of Mali (2009-2016); Ms. Bagayoko Aminata Traoré, the first and only woman to hold the position of president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in 2004. Today she is a member of the National Assembly.
First female head of District of Mali was appointed in 2003. In 2005, President ATT took Decree No. 05-350 P-RM on free caesarean section in Mali. It allowed access to caesarean section of thousands of patients, which saved doubly lives (mothers and children) thus contributing to the stability of households and families.
It was under ATT that the women were recruited for the first time in the bodies of the gendarmerie (200) and the National Guard (200). An act that inspired the Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, it opened the military and paramilitary bodies to the women. And the first woman promoted to the rank of general is Ms. Coulibaly Kani Diabaté, in September 2010. The ATT regime also contributed to the promotion of Malian women in international forums. These include Ms. Diarra Fatoumata Dembélé, Vice-President of the International Criminal Court (2009); Me Soyata Maïga, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, to the African Union (2007).
In less than 18 months of transition after the coup on 22 March 2012, Mali had two prime ministers, four governments with only five women. During this period, no significant promotion of women was noted.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
The arrival of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in power had a timid start in the promotion of women. His first government on September 8, 2013 spoke volumes with only four women ministers on a team of 34 people. At the level of the National Assembly, of the 147 deputies, there are now 15 women. In recent years, President IBK has been actively promoting women.
Thus, a law introducing measures to promote gender in access to nominative and elective functions was adopted. This is Law 2015-052 of 18 December 2015. The adoption of this law allowed women to have 25.4% of municipal councilors in the municipal elections of 20 November 2016 against 9% in 2009.
The current government has (8) eight women ministers out of a total of 33. These are ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Pr Assétou Founé Samaké Migan; Equipment and Transport: Mrs Traoré Seynabou Diop; Health and Public Hygiene, Dr Marie Madeleine Togo; Labor and Civil Service, in charge of Relations with the Institutions, Mrs Diarra Raky Talla; Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development, Ms Keita Aïda M’Bo; Culture, Mrs. N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo; Crafts and Tourism: Ms Nina Walett Intallou and finally the Promotion of Women, Children and the Family, Mrs. Sangaré Oumou Ba. Also noteworthy is the appointment of Amy Kane as governor of Bamako. President IBK contributed FCFA 300 million (USD 150 000) to the campaign of women candidates in the municipal elections of 20 November 2017.
In view of all the above, we can safely say that the promotion of women, from the advent of our country to national and international sovereignty, is advocated. This is evidenced by the efforts of the six regimes in Mali. Each president tried, in his own way, to promote it.
The Malian population is predominantly composed of women (over 51%), who should have a say in the management of state affairs, through their massive presence in decision-making bodies. As the other would say, “it is never too late to do better”.
By A Maiga