Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba Receives The Prestigious HeForShe Recognition For Championing Gender Equality

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HeForShe Gabon
Photo Credit: Presidency of Gabon

Gabon officially launched the HeForShe global solidarity movement spearheaded by UN Women to further engage men and boys as agents of change in advancing women’s rights and strengthening positive masculinity throughout the country and across communities.  As a series of high-level events kicked off the national launch under the patronage of the government-led platform “Gabon Egalité” and the Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation, the main highlight of the action was marked by the pinning of the President of Gabon, H.E Ali Bongo Ondimba, awarding him with the prestigious HeForShe recognition by the United Nations, for enacting policies in promoting women’s rights and gender equality agendas.

The award ceremony took place during an audience granted by the president to UN Women’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Ms. Oulimata Sarr, in the presence of a delegation of members of government led by Prime Minister Ms. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, the first woman ever to hold the position in the country’s history.

“This award will make us work even harder, and I dedicate this to all women victims and survivors of violence, as their numbers are still unfortunately too high. I, therefore, invite all Gabonese men and women to take full part in the HeForShe solidarity movement, the objective of which is to make men contribute fully to gender equality,” stated President Bongo Ondimba.

 

HeForShe Gabon

In a hall full of ministers, civil society representatives, development and UN partners, as well as female and male gender advocates and youth, the official launching ceremony, officiated by Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, was another key highlight of Gabon's HeForShe national launch. She affirmed during her remarks that,


"This fight for equality, the Head of State and the government must not lead it alone. This is everyone's fight, that of the national community. I invite all men to invest themselves resolutely in the quest for equality. To all men and boys, I tell them to come out of the shadows for a more united society. I would like to thank this UN Women led movement, the international organizations and our development partners, who, through their multifaceted support, support Gabon in our quest for equality."


Gabon's HeForShe launch unveiled a 4 weeks long nationwide campaign with the deployment of key messages, tools and actions to raise awareness among citizens in support of women and equal rights and to highlight several milestones such as the Gabonese Women's Decade (2015-2025), the appointment of women at the top level of the government and the many key achievements spearheaded by "Gabon Egalité", the intergovernmental platform which led to the adoption and promulgation of a historic set of measures and legislative reforms for the protection of women and girls through a national framework promoting equal rights.

 

HeForShe Gabon

“We dream of a society where women and girls can fully unleash their potential. We need the support of men to bring about change for such a world where women and girls’ rights are protected, and where they have full access to opportunities which empower them. The powerful actions undertaken by Gabon and its leadership in favor of gender equality since 2015 demonstrate that this dream will soon be a reality on Gabonese soil.” stated Ms. Oulimata Sarr, UN Women’s regional director for West and Central Africa, after the awarding ceremony of the President.

Since its launch on September 20, 2014, the HeForShe movement has mobilized millions of people around the world.