A Two-Year Exhibition to Praise Women's Political Leadership in Africa
Date: Monday, August 3, 2020
The UN Women Regional Office for West and Central Africa (WCARO) in partnership with the Musée des civilisations noires in Dakar, Senegal, inaugurated in March 2020 a two-year exhibition that showcases women political leaders in Africa and highlights women's political participation across the continent. The exhibition will remain open until March 2022 and it is part of the Regional Women’s Leadership programme funded by the Government of Canada.
The exhibition includes 5 Sections:
- Section 1: Women political leaders in Africa: from queens to leaders that fought for the decolonization of the continent through the contemporary period. It includes 45 figures to be discovered through their biographies in French and English languages via a QR code for Smartphones. This section is to be updated every six months to include more figures.
- Section 2: Women presidents in Africa. It shows five elected women presidents in Africa.
- Section 3: African Countries leading by example shown in a map format highlighting progress made in countries like Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Kenya and Tunisia in terms of promoting women’s leadership in politics.
- Section 4: provides a situation of the continent in terms of women’s participation in Parliaments. A map drawn by Senegalese artists shows Africa mostly in red (under 10%) and orange (under 30%) instead of green (+30%). The map alerts the public on the poor women’s representation in Africa. This section also includes information on obstacles that women face in politics as voters and candidates and highlights the issue of violence in elections.
- iKnowpolitics network section is a video screen providing information on the network and allowing broadcast of interviews with African women involved in politics.
During the inauguration ceremony held in early March 2020, the Ambassador of Canada, H.E Sébastien Beaulieu wished this kind of initiative could be duplicated noting that “the Section devoted to female presidents is quite empty and reveals the reality of women’s participation in politics. Therefore, it needs to be expanded with more women presidents in the coming years”.
Mr Bocom Hamady, the Director of the Museum emphasized the fruitful partnership with UNWOMEN and hailed the exhibition that allowed his team to deepen the research and the work on women and production of knowledge that were initially developed by the Museum.
Ms. Soulef Guessoum, the Regional Advisor on governance and women’s political participation described the exhibition as inspiring and a means of changing the narratives on women’s role and leadership in politics. “The exhibition simply tells us great stories and achievements by those African women who defeated enemies, traditions and systems to contribute to the development of the continent in so many ways.”