For over 20 years, Bineta Diop has been a tireless advocate for gender equality in Africa and at the forefront of a gender-sensitive approach to conflict prevention. She is the founder of Femmes Africa Solidarité, which focuses on women-led peace building in Africa’s fragile states, and serves as the African Union Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security.
“I have a dream,” she said in this interview. “I have a dream where we say that the bodies of the young girls are no longer used in the battlefield. When I meet those girls and they say, ‘I have been raped’ … I say zero tolerance, and we make sure that Africa is free of violence.”
Ms. Diop said countries are failing to respond to the needs of their citizens. “I think when you look now, more and more they are saying, ‘We the people.’ We are not saying anymore, ‘We the states,’ because I think that the states are not responding.”
She believes that women and young people are the ones that can create the transformation to “we the people,” adding that this year is a good year for it, as it marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women.
The interview was conducted by Marie O’Reilly, Editor and Research Fellow at the International Peace Institute.