A handful of women intend to stand for president in the upcoming October election in the male-dominated political sphere in Ivory Coast, among them are Marie Carine Bladi and Danièle Boni Claverie.
In the history of Africa only three women have been heads of state.
Sahle-Work Zewde who is currently the only female head of state in Africa, after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was the first democratically elected female president handed over office in 2018 , having served the constitutionally mandated two terms and Joyce Banda who served as president of Malawi from 2012 – 2014.
meet the contenders
Danièle Boni was born in1942. She is an Ivorian journalist and politician. She served in the country’s cabinet and was founding president of the Union Républicaine pour la démocratie.
She has worked as a journalist, becoming chief editor for a newspaper and then head of Radiodiffusion Television Ivorienne (RTI).
Formerly a member of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire, Boni-Claverie served as Minister of Communications in the government of Daniel Kablan Duncan from 1993 to 1999. She served as Minister of Women and the Family and Children in the government of Gilbert Aké from 2010 to 2011.
She was arrested in October 2016 after taking part in a demonstration to request that the country’s new draft constitution be withdrawn.
The second female contender in the elections is Carine Bladi, a relatively newcomer to politics but was the first woman to declare her candidacy for the October elections.
She is standing as the head of Nouvel Ivoirien Côte d’Ivoire Nouvelle, a political party she created in 2018 that describes itself as “divine” and rooted in “biblical truth”.
“All political alliances in Ivory Coast have failed and led Ivorians into torment, the only true alliance that will save Ivory Coast is that which is sealed in respect of divine principles of love for one’s neighbour, peace, social cohesion and true conciliation”, she once wrote in a statement.
Before her entry into politics, Bladi was a businesswoman, leading companies such as De Collins, Noces de Cana and Victoire Transport. She also designed a clothing line aimed at married women.
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