Home ARCHIVES Mali Finally Gets a Minister for the Promotion of Women

Mali Finally Gets a Minister for the Promotion of Women


The Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and the Family has a specialist on gender issues at its head. Since the accession to power of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, gender issues seemed to be among the least of his worries. The department sank into a sort of lethargy under the cupola of a minister who seemed to be looking for her marks, appearing to have other concerns than the well-being of Mali’s women and children. With the appointment of the President of the Coordination of Women’s Associations and Organizations (CAFO) in the new government, hope is assured for the millions of women and children in Mali. This fringe of the population could not find a better defender for its cause. Ms. Oumou Touré’s life was devoted to the struggle for women’s rights. Feminist of the first generations, she directed the CAFO, composed of more than two thousand associations and NGOs, since 1998. Holding a Masters in Sociology obtained at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Bamako (ENSup), the Minister has had several other training courses to perfect her skills – an academic course at Marquette University (USA) on Good Governance, Conflict Resolution, Ethics and Accountability in 2006; East Anglia University (Norwich, England), were she was trained in the Teaching of English Language and its intercultural and sociological approach. In the associative world, Mrs Oumou Touré is very active. Her talents as a collector, a great “debater” and above all her clairvoyance and vivacity of spirit have led him to direct this great network of NGOs that is the CAFO. Under her mandate, all the women’s competences affiliated to the CAFO were valued through thematic groups that she initiated in the fields of health, environment, governance, etc. so that each woman finds her place and flourishes in the domain that is hers.  Promoter of the NGO “Woïyo Kondeye” (space for reflection and mutual aid), all these years of militancy have aggravated and made stronger against the adversity in a world where criticisms are commonplace. Under her leadership, CAFO resisted several divisive winds sponsored by invisible and powerful hands. But Oumou remained of marble and very straight in her boots!  Through her journey, she gives women of the world in general and Malian women in particular a beautiful lesson of courage, stoicism and the quest for excellence, ignoring the so-called “female weakness”.  With Mrs. Traoré Oumou Touré, we hope that the Malian woman will finally be taken seriously and the notion of gender valued rightly as an essential component of any development process.  Good wind, minister!  The Women’s Torch