Posted by: africanpressorganization | 12 March 2010

Cote d’Ivoire / UNOCI organises public events throughout the country to celebrate women





Cote d’Ivoire / UNOCI organises public events throughout the country to celebrate women



ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 12, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ –The United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire organized activities throughtout the country last Monday to mark International Women’s Day which is celebrated on 8 March every year.


The celebrations, which were filled with rejoicing and enthusiasm, took place in Bouake, Sinfra, Abengourou, and Lakota, focused on two themes, the international theme which is “Equal Rights and Equal Opportunity for All throughout the World” and the national theme, “Elections and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities”.


NGOs and women’s rights organizations in Bouake were heavily mobilized during a women’s football tournament entitled ‘UNOCI for Peace’. The women reiterated their commitment to intensify their efforts to promote women’s rights in Côte d’Ivoire.


On behalf of the Mission, the regional coordinator for UNOCI in Bouake, Alassane Fall, read the message of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. For their part, UNOCI’s Human Rights and Electoral Assistance sections sensitized the public on the need to establish a peaceful electoral climate and social cohesion among the people, while the HIV/AIDS section called on young girls to adopt responsible behavior in order to fight against the pandemic.


In Sinfa, 300 km from Abidjan, some 1000 women marched to the ceremonial ground accompanied by brass band music and songs. The women, who came from 13 women’s association in Sinfa, carried placards bearing a variety of messages such as “No More War”, ” Peace, Always Peace and Nothing but Peace”. Some of them carried placards bearing symbols of the United Nations and its values including justice, fair play, reconciliation and peace. The Human Rights section in Daloa used the occasion to talk about women’s rights and Resolution 1325.


The women’s president, Mrs. Amena Lou Djedje, made an emotional appeal to the women, “We have lost our children, we have lost our husbands, we have witnessed the rape of our children….today, we banish hatred and violence in order to live together in peace.”

The men seem to have been well understood by the first deputy Mayor of Sinfra, Djessan Bi who assured the women that ” it was a matter of urgency to have confidence in women and to involve them in the management of public affairs.”


In the town in Toumodi, the celebration was co-organized by the UNOCI’s Human Rights Office and some 20 women’s associations who make up the Organization of Active Women of Cote d’Ivoire (OFACI). UNOCI Public Information Officer, Marie Puchon, explained the predominant role of women in the United Nations system as reflected in Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 before reading the message of the UN Secretary General. The Mayor of the town, Tchina Simone, told the women that “our first challenge is financial and economic autonomy for our personal and professional advancement,” adding that “we must be daring, cultured and educated.” The Prefect of Toumodi, Eponon Andre, for his part said: “Women must liberate themselves and strive for equal opportunity. As for us the men, we should create better conditions for women to realize their full potential.”


In Abengourou (210 km), the the Regional Human Rights Office based in Bondoukou, joined members of women’s associations and NGOs to celebrate the Day at the Ministry of the Family, Women and Social Affairs. UNOCI Focal Point in Abengourou, Jean Baptiste Azolin, hailed the promotion and respect of women’s rights and took the opportunity to speak call for the end of violence against women, female genital mutilation, early marriage and denying young girls an education.


The regional director of the Ministry of the Family, Women and Social Affairs, Diplo Koukoura called on women to teach their children love and tolerance in their quest for freedom and equality. For his part, the Prefect of Moyen Comoe region, Leopold Anon, reiterated government’s support for women’s cause. “The government spares no effort to provide assistance to vulnerable groups including women’s associations through the Ministry of Family, Women and Social Affairs”. The president of the Federation of Women’s Movements in Abengourou Commune (FEMFECA), Kone Kounfimba noted that it was up to women to strive to merit and take their rightful place in society.


In Lakota , a parade, dances and short drama performances provided a lighter mood to the celebration, which took place in the presence of administrative authorities and the elite of the district. Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs. Adji Helene highlighted “the numerous discriminatory practices women undergo despite the existence of laws to protect and emancipate women.” She expressed the wish for equal participation of women at all levels in decision-making, formulation, implementation and evaluation of development policies and programmes. In response to Mrs. Adji, the Regional Director of the Ministry of the Family, Women and Social Affairs, Asket Joseph, remarked that “these days, it is an established fact that women have won the battle for legal equality in most parts of the world. What remains to be conquered is de facto equality.”



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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