Mali: Cissouma Korotoumou Traore

I have learned that we will only attain a good quality of life when health becomes a given, and when women in my country become aware of the role they can play in political decision-making.

— Cissouma Korotoumou Traore

Cissouma Korotoumou Traore (63) presides over the Association of Solidarity of Minianka Women (an ethnic group of Sikasso), an organization that is also open to all the other ethnic groups in the defense of the interests of women of Sikasso. Characterized by having courage when necessary, Madame Cissouma spent all her professional career in the circle of social affairs. She was member of the regional office of the National Union of Women of Mali under the second republic and president of the multifunctional co-operation of the women of Sikasso (CMFS).

Madam Cissouma Korotoumou Traore is a Bambara woman married to a Minianka. It is through her husband that she discovered the Minianka world. Her marriage forces Mali people to see that different ethnic groups can live in harmony and in perfect integration. She is not a bureaucrat cut off from her world as she likes direct contact with people. She regularly holds meetings, advising couples and families for a better understanding of the complexity of human relations. She has the tact to work with the body of the community in a conservative society marked by the misunderstanding of the role of women confined to the home. She advises authorities, technical structures, and the general population on how to attain the material and financial means in order to undertake development activities. She knows that, culturally, it is necessary to be honest, transparent, and organized to win the confidence of people. It was necessary also to be courageous and to not become despondent. Her work benefits the whole Sikasso community; for it has reinforced social cohesion. The dispossessed, women and children regained their rights by the actions of Korotoumou Traore. Nevertheless, there are many constraints in getting women to mobilize themselves and participate in development activities. Finding funds to finance certain initiatives is often not easy. Korotoumou has also had to come to terms with social work that completely monopolizes family life. She is the mother of six children and has a diploma in social aid which she obtained in 1963.

Coopération Multifonctionnelle des Femmes de Sikasso (CMFS) Association de Solidarité des Femmes Minianka