Women in Mali 

Mali has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. With more than 18 million inhabitants, about 9 million women live in this West African country. At the same time, Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 175th out of 188 in the Human Development Index. 

Mali's development was severely disrupted by a military coup that triggered a political-security crisis in 2012 and 2013 and the country resorted to a UN peacekeeping mission contributing to security in several large parts of the northern territories. Despite the signing of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in 2015, the situation remains volatile, and insecurity is now spreading in southern and central Mali. 

Erratic rains and persistent droughts pose a real challenge to the economy, which is heavily linked to the agricultural sector, which employs more than 90 per cent of the rural population. 

The status of women in Mali is still at a low level. According to the Gender Inequality Index, Mali is ranked 156th in the world. The maternal mortality rate stands at nearly 10% and food insecurity particularly affects women and children. The 2012 crisis had an even greater impact on women than on men. They have been largely displaced and now remain in precarious living conditions. Gender-based violence is widespread across the country and women often do not have access to justice due to social pressures and ignorance of their rights. Although the Peace Agreement represents enormous hope for a return to normality, women are hardly involved in implementation as well as in national and local governance. This contributes to a slow integration of women's concerns into political priorities. 

UN Women in Mali 

UN Women in Mali aims to ensure gender equality and women's empowerment across the country. During the period from 2018 to 2021, the country strategic plan focuses particularly on the promotion of 4 global objectives: 

  1. Economic empowerment, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls 

  1. Women's participation and leadership in decision-making address local, regional, and national levels to ensure long-term peace and security 

  1. Building Resilience in the Context of Climate Change 

  1. A life free from violence for women and men, boys, and girls 

To achieve these goals, UN Women Mali is built around 5 different Flagships 

  1. Women, Peace and Security with a group of experts for the coordination of the implementation of Resolution 1325, 

  1. Economic Empowerment in Agriculture and the Private Sector; as well as 

  1. Governance and 

  1. Violence against women.  

All flagships bring their expertise and resources to accelerate the promotion of women's and girls' rights in Mali. 

  • Women, Peace and Security with a group of experts to coordinate the implementation of Resolution 1325,
  • Economic Empowerment in Agriculture and the Private Sector; and
    Governance and Violence Against Women.
  • All flagships bring expertise and resources to accelerate the advancement of women's and girls' rights in Mali.

UN Women Mali supports partners including government, civil society and works closely with local private sector partners to put in place the policies, laws, services, and resources women need to achieve equality. 

UN Women Mali's actions are currently funded by : Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, Luxemburg, France, Austria, Netherland, KOIKA, The Spotlight Initiative Fund, Peace Building Fund (PBF), Qatar Charity, SAER Emploi, Orange