In Africa, many women have managed to break the firewall by entering a high political office. Others have been able to take up executive positions in large international organizations.
Here are the African women that occupied high political office. We present some of them to you below:
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, from 2006 to 2018. She is the first woman elected by universal suffrage at the head of an African state.
Joyce Banda was the President of Malawi. Vice-President of the Republic in 2009, she became President of the Republic in April 2012, succeeding Bingu Wa Mutharika, who died the day before. She is the first woman to hold these two positions in her country.
Minister of Information and then Foreign Affairs of Rwanda from 2009 to 2018, Louise Mushikiwabo was elected secretary-general of the International Organization of La Francophonie in October 2018. She took office in January 2019.
Catherine Samba-Panza led the transitional regime in her country, the Central African Republic. She is the first woman to hold the position from January 23, 2014, to March 30, 2016.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was Chairperson of the African Union Commission from October 15, 2012, to January 30, 2017. She was also successively Minister of Health (1994 to 1999), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1999 to 2009), and Minister of Interior from May 11, 2009, to October 2, 2012.
Amina J. Mohammed
Amina J. Mohammed has been Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations since January 2017. Previously, she was Special Advisor to Ban Ki-moon for development planning, then Minister of the Environment in Nigeria from November 2015.
Alice Nzomukunda has been the Vice-President of Burundi since 2005.
Isatou Njie-Saidy is the first woman vice-president of The Gambia. She was in office from 1997 to 2017
Agathe Uwilingiyimana, was Prime Minister of Rwanda from July 18, 1993, until his death on April 7, 1994. His assassination, the day after the attack on the head of the Juvenal State Habyarimana, was part of the initial events of the genocide in Rwanda. She is the first female Prime Minister of Rwanda.
Mame Madior Boye
Mame Madior Boye is the first woman to hold the post of Prime Minister in Senegal. She led the government under Abdoulaye Wade from March 3, 2001, to November 4, 2002.
Fatoumata Tambajang has been Vice-President of The Gambia since January 23, 2017. Ms. Tambajang is one of the initiators of the opposition coalition, which brought new President Adama Barrow to power and ended the 22 years of the reign of Yahya Jammeh.
Aminata Touré is the second woman to hold the post of Prime Minister in Senegal. A position she held from 2013 to 2014. Human rights activist and civil servant at the United Nations, she was also Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2013.
Joice Mujuru was between 2004 and 2014, the first vice-president of the Republic and vice-president of the ZANU-PF party.
Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda has been the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since June 15, 2012, after having been Assistant Prosecutor for eight years.
Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura
Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura has been FIFA general secretary since 2016. Previously, she was the UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Okonjo-Iweala served at World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007-2011). She also served two terms as the Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015).