Fatimetou Abdel Malick on inequality and the role of women in politics
Fatimetou Malick, mayor of Tevragh-Zeina, talks about opening doors for women in politics in Mauritania. She believes an equal society exists when everyone’s skills are valued and everyone can contribute to development.
FATIMETOU MALICK: Inequality is when people, citizens, do not enjoy the same rights, do not have the same opportunities, do not have the same access to services. The most cruel is the inequality between man and woman.
[Inequality is logo. A graphic black equal sign with an orange slash through it. #InequalityIs. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, Mayor, Tevragh-Zeina, Mauritania. A Mauritanian woman wearing a colorful blue, green, red, and white hijab.]
Inequality is when we don’t let women participate, we do not value the work they can do. When I was elected, I was the only female mayor in Mauritania. So I had the responsibility not only to honor my commitments to my constituents but also to open the door for other women. There are very few women in administrations in Mauritania. They represent only 20% in parliamentary structures, however women contribute up to 80% of the family food intake. Now, with regard to elected positions, I believe that women can govern at the local level, because it is similar to managing family, just on a bigger scale. The job of the local official, we don’t learn it in the university. We don’t learn it in public schools. We learn it from instinct and with relationships with citizens. My ambition is to reach a more equal society where everyone has rights, where everyone feels useful, where everyone can contribute to development. It’s my fight. I must succeed. It is at that moment I will be at ease and that I will be a good mayor. I’m really hoping for that to happen.
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