Direct Dialogue between the President and Women Associations
Since 2008, there has been direct dialogue between delegates from Burkinabè women associations and the President of Burkina Faso.
On International Women’s Day, March 8, women association representatives of each province of the country, discuss with the President their main difficulties.
Every year, these women associations identified a list of priorities to be discussed with the President on March 8, through regional meetings held prior to the national forum on International Women’s Day. Every year, the women associations and the President evaluated together the execution by the Government of measures agreed upon in the prior year.
More than 2,000 women participated at this yearly platform that President Compaoré organized with them in order to enhance dialogue and participatory governance.
Since 1998, the Burkinabè authorities have listed the commemoration of International Women’s Day as a major event in the country.
A National Watchdog on women rights enforcement
Even if women are aware of their rights, enforcement still needed to be improved. For example, the laws are clear: women can inherit land under the same terms as men. But enforcement is still very often complex because traditional practices persist. Therefore, the Compaoré administration put words into action, closely watched by a National Commission that ensures that measures in favour of women are put into practice.
Under Compaoré, the 1998 Family Code improved the judicial status and the social protection of women and children. Since 2007, labor law protect women against sexual harassment and women victims of violence or violation of their rights have access to free counseling services. In 2009, Burkina was one of the Africa’s few that signed all Treaties and Conventions on Women Rights and Empowerment.
The mentality even in remote areas has started to change thanks to multiple awareness campaigns on women’s rights carried out by a wide range of influential figures as well as government bodies and civil society.