Ban FGM: NPWJ and NRPTT mourn the passing of Fatoumata Siré Diakité and celebrate her contribution to the cause of women’s rights

18 Oct, 2016 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome, 18 October 2016

No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) note in great sadness the passing of Fatoumata Siré Diakité, who devoted her life and career to the struggle for the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM) and the promotion of women’s emancipation in Mali, throughout Africa and worldwide for over three decades.

Former Ambassador of Mali in Germany and a highly decorated public figure, Diakité founded the Association for the Progress and Defence of the Rights of Women (APDF – Association pour la Défense des Droits des Femmes), in 1991, to raise awareness and combat all forms of discrimination and violent practices against Malian women and to promote and defend their rights. Under her tireless leadership, this association was instrumental in breaking the silence surrounding FGM, supporting grass roots activists and raising women’s awareness on their rights, as well as crucially in appealing to decision-makers for the adoption of a law against FGM. As head of APDF, she also served as the regional director of the “African Coalition on Traditional Practices and the Empowerment of Women” (ACTPEW), aiming to create a safe society in Africa and the diaspora where women and girls can live free from harmful traditional practices.

Her vision and personal commitment – despite strong resistance and even violent opposition – was a beacon of inspiration for all those fighting for the elimination of FGM. We had the honour to work with her on multiple occasions in the course of our advocacy for clear and effective legislation to unequivocally ban FGM as a human rights violation, in order to legitimize local advocacy and educational efforts, to strengthen those who seek to defy the social pressures of tradition and reject FGM, and to protect women and girls from this form of violence.

The entire human rights international community has lost a true friend and advocate. We mourn Diakité’s passing and urge all who knew her and whose lives she touched to carry on her legacy. NPWJ will certainly do so.

For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Director for Gender and Human Rights, on or Nicola Giovannini,, phone: +32 2 548 39 15.