Mali: Sirandou Bocoum

What a great joy for a mother to save a child from falling into despair and help that child find a way to get back on track with dignity.

— Sirandou Bocoum

Sirandou Bocoum (born 1945) is a teacher and believes women need to continue the fight to realize the recommendations of the 1995 Beijing Summit. She also understands the importance of making women aware of the implications of decisions on local development in the Djenné area. Her activities support the fight against illegal trade in children and awareness raising on women's rights.

Madam Sirandou, having reflected a great deal on the position of children and domestic workers in Djenné, could not help but mobilize women for their emancipation. She understood very quickly the need to take the initiative to protect and send children to school, girls in particular. Today, Sirandou Bocoum is the leader of the Association for the Protection of Children and Domestic Workers. She chose the Djenné area to fight for women’s rights because she saw an area that was poorly serviced by the national women’s associations which concentrated their efforts in the capital, Bamako. Djenné is a very religious city which does not support the work of Sirandou and her colleagues. At first, she had many problems defending her opinions in an environment dominated by men. But she was not discouraged even though she came to realize that her fight was a solitary one at the start, but not in vain. Sirandou Bocoum made the effort and took a lot of risks to improve women’s position in Djenné aiming at the creation of other women's organizations. Today, she is highly appreciated by the women of the area who see in her an important person at the head of the local women’s movement. She is one of those rare women of the region who embrace both the women’s community and political life, being second assistant mayor of the city hall in Djenné, a post that allows her to be involved in local decisions concerning the life of the urban community of Djenné.

Association for the Protection of Children and Domestic Workers