Mauritanien: Aïssata Kane

Old age should not hinder women from helping to build their country, rather it should be seen as an asset because of all the experience that comes with it.

— Aïssata Kane

Aïssata Kane currently is considered as the mother of Mauritanian women because of her great wisdom and common sense and her open spirit that fuels her mission to help women leave obscurity to meet the virtues of the modern world: liberty, gender equality, respect for women’s rights, and for the right for young girls to enroll at school. Aïssata Kane is a consultant on women and development and spends her time working on respect for women’s rights, the involvement of women in development, research into ways and means for sustainable development.

Aïssata Kane was one of the first three Mauritanian girls to be admitted to secondary school. She very quickly caught the social and political activism bug that saw her become the head of the Mauritanian Women's Council in 1970. Aïssata is, within the human rights network, specifically involved in the rights of women and children. More than that, she is in reality a national and international reference point. Thanks to her experience as an emancipated woman who is not dominated by traditional rules, the Mauritanian woman has come a long way to assert her social promotion. The Mauritanian women’s movement has pressured the government for projects to be initiated for women. For example, because of the actions of women of this Muslim Republic of Africa, the difference in the education rate between girls and boys has been reduced considerably. Aïssata Kane is also known as a political activist involved in the construction of Mauritania. She never accepted a secondary role in matters of her country. She held the post of Minister for the Protection of the Family and Social Affairs from 1975 to 1977 and was, thus, the first woman minister in Mauritania. After the state military coup, she committed herself to community life with the Conference on African Women. This allowed her to establish important international relations in the African women’s movement. Aïssata Kane (67) still does not feel tired and wants to go further. In her understanding, the fight does not end until the many steps have been taken for equality between men and women to be attained in all development areas of Mauritania.

Association pour la Protection de l’Environnement en Mauritanie (APEM) Association Mauritanienne pour la Protection de l'Enfant et de la Femme Association Internationale des Femmes Francophones (AIFF)