She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
Born in Atar, in the mountainous region of Adrar, Azza Mint Moma (39) is well-known in her country for her struggle to liberate Mauritanian women. She claims the right of women to liberty and to freedom of choice in their life, especially in their choice of husband.
She says: “If only women united, we would be able to stop talking about injustices and human rights violations”.
She is noted as political heroe.
sorry, no photo found (see also my comment ‘Brave women without photos‘).
Azza Mint Moma – Mauritania
Azza Mint Moma’s struggle is centered in the mountainous region of the Adrar within a very religious community that is closed to external influence and rigid in the face of world change.
Madame Azza Mint Moma was lucky enough to go to school; this was believed to be a big adventure and a great risk. Her mother, who was divorced from her father, removed her from her traditional family environment and placed her in a school against the will of the paternal family. After brilliant primary and secondary school studies, Azza specialised in computer science in Morocco.
She returned to Mauritania with her diploma and attempted to re-integrate herself into her family environment, but her reputation for an open-minded spirit and progress preceded her and she faced serious difficulties and a lack of understanding.
Azza faced resistance from traditionalist elements who saw her as a western woman trying to introduce a behavior that is foreign to them. Azza decided to take up a courageous fight against the closed minds and religious and social intolerance that, according to her, are the sources of many conflicts and injustices.
This is why she claims the right of women to liberty and to freedom of choice in their life, especially in their choice of husband. While claiming these rights, she tirelessly campaigns for human rights that take into account tradition, religion, and progress for women.
To accomplish her fight, Azza Mint has shown great courage and tremendous perseverance in denouncing harmful and unfair practices towards Mauritanian women, who make up the majority of society. She also denounces injustice towards former slaves and marginalized people.
Azza Mint Moma was the first woman of her community to work in a modern business – the National Electricity Corporation and in an area such as data processing. She also chose a husband that is not from her community. This created a mini revolution and was a good example of emancipation for other women who are victims of customary practices and traditions unfavorable for them.
Her work is characterized by self-sacrifice, the will to persevere and a sound conviction to defend human rights. To succeed in her fight, she campaigns in organizations that respond to her values to liberate Mauritanian society of all forms of injustice. She works with women, men and the youth that share her views.
She achieved concrete results by getting around under difficult conditions with few means of transport. She works voluntarily and does not receive assistance. Her opponents actively prevent her from getting help with her defense of women’s rights.
Her difficulties are also cultural because Azza comes from a very religious and traditionalist environment. In addition, certain elements of Mauritanian society take a dim view of emancipated women or those who offend customary order.
Theoretically Islam grants great respect to women, but confines them to secondary roles. The inferiority of women, in comparison to men, is considered normal and widely accepted in the traditional and religious Mauritanian society.
This makes things difficult for those campaigning defense for human rights. The efforts by Azza Mint Moma mean that in her community today, more women comparatively marry whom they want; they have the right to attend family meetings and have access to their means.
On a national level Azzas work has brought to consciousness the very important role of women and their rights for liberty, respect, economical and social well being. Besides ending discrimination in these respects, there are a number of other demands: that slaves are free by law, as are those of lower castes, illegitimate children, aids-orphans and other marginalized groups.
Despite resistance, Azza was able to change certain behaviors within her family environment. She does not despair about the long battle in her community to finish the work she has started.
Azza Mint Moma is convinced that Mauritanian society is similar in many ways to other African Muslim societies, thinks that with strong belief, a lot of perseverance and a little luck, women can change injustice and win peace and prosperity. People who know her, find her a strong campaigner for human rights who is not ready to give up the fight under pressure. (1000peacewomen).
She is named in the two following documents:
SOCIAL JUSTICE. THE PROFESSIONAL AND THE VOLUNTEER. INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS, 111 pdf-pages in english, french, spain and portuguese;
Sorry, no other information found.