“We need to advocate for gender equity”
Assitan Coulibaly, Vice President of the Mali Red Cross, was inspired to help people in vulnerable situations by her husband, who was a doctor at the time. That led her to the Red Cross as a volunteer in 1992.
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Since then, by way of her commitment and confidence, Assitan has received several promotions and has served as Secretary of Communications and then Vice President of the Governance Office. She has been in this position for approximately 10 years. She has worked hard to secure funding through her involvement with various partners, which includes ongoing advocacy with government institutions for first-aid-based emergency projects that put volunteers on the front lines. This has contributed significantly to the expansion of the Red Cross volunteer network across the country, particularly among female volunteers who see her as a role model.

She acknowledges having experienced challenges as a woman, particularly in working her way up to the vice presidency, a position that is highly coveted by men. Nevertheless, her efforts and their impacts have spoken volumes, giving her the opportunity to create positive change. Assitan believes that achieving gender equity in the Red Cross Movement is essential:

‘’I find that there aren’t enough women on Red Cross committees, even at the local level. We need to advocate for gender equity by identifying highly capable female leaders who are inspired by the ideal of volunteerism.”

Assitan Coulibaly

Mali, 1992

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Over 75 countries have established quota policies to ensure more women have leadership roles within domestic politics.

– O’Brien and Rickne, 2016

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