Born in Atar, in the mountainous region of Adrar, Azza Mint Moma (39) is well-known in her country for her struggle to liberate Mauritanian women. She claims the right of women to liberty and to freedom of choice in their life, especially in their choice of husband.
Azza Mint Moma's struggle is centered in the mountainous region of the Adrar within a very religious community that is closed to external influence and rigid in the face of world change. Madame Azza Mint Moma was lucky enough to go to school; this was believed to be a big adventure and a great risk. Her mother, who was divorced from her father, removed her from her traditional family environment and placed her in a school against the will of the paternal family. After brilliant primary and secondary school studies, Azza specialised in computer science in Morocco. She returned to Mauritania with her diploma and attempted to re-integrate herself into her family environment, but her reputation for an open-minded spirit and progress preceded her and she faced serious difficulties and a lack of understanding. Azza faced resistance from traditionalist elements who saw her as a western woman trying to introduce a behavior that is foreign to them. Azza decided to take up a courageous fight against the closed minds and religious and social intolerance that, according to her, are the sources of many conflicts and injustices. This is why she claims the right of women to liberty and to freedom of choice in their life, especially in their choice of husband. While claiming these rights, she tirelessly campaigns for human rights that take into account tradition, religion, and progress for women. To accomplish her fight, Azza Mint has shown great courage and tremendous perseverance in denouncing harmful and unfair practices towards Mauritanian women, who make up the majority of society. She also denounces injustice towards former slaves and marginalized people.