U.N. deputy chief calls for greater participation of women in Mali’s transition

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. /VCG Photo

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, has called for greater participation of women in Mali’s transition.

Mohammed, who is in Mali as part of her visit of the wider West Africa ad Sahel regions, made the remarks at a meeting with women leaders in Bamako.

Before arriving in Mali, the 59-year-old visited Nigeria and Niger.

Her visit comes amid an increasing security and humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel region. According to the U.N., the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Mali increased from 4.3 to 6.8 million between January and August 2020.

Mali was rocked by mass protests for months, culminating in the ouster of former president Ibrahim Boubacar in August.

A new civilian government has been put in place, but the country continues to experience incidences of conflict.

Attacks in October killed 12 civilians, with at least 11 Malian soldiers killed in separate attacks in the central region of the country. Days later, one peacekeeper was killed and another injured in two more incidents.

Mohammed discussed three areas for building a better future for Africa and Mali during her visit: financing for sustainable development, the socio-economic response and recovery plans, and ways to improve social cohesion and community resilience, whilst protecting civilians and fighting terrorism.

Upon the completion of her Mali trip, the U.N. Deputy Secretary-General will embark on a two-day visit of Sierra Leone.