In the West African republic of Togo, women are steadily increasing their role in the political and economic life of the community.
In the West African republic of Togo, women are steadily increasing their role in the political and economic life of the community. The emancipation of women in Togo is a comparatively recent event, but already they are reaching senior positions in educational institutions and in the field of commerce.
Outstanding among Togolese women who have "made it to the top" is Madame Marie Sivomoy. She is mayor of Togo's capital, Lome--a position she has held since June 1967. Madame Sivomey has been re-elected every year since then unopposed.
Madame Sivomey describes herself as "a great feminist". She believes she has a mission to accomplish in the feminine cause--so often in Africa the victim of prejudice.
SYNOPSIS: Togo's capital, Lome, has a civic leader who herself embodies the progress made in Togo towards the emancipation of women. She is Madame Marie Sivomey, the mayor of Togo. She was first elected in 1967, and since then has been returned to office every year, unopposed. As with all civic leaders some of her jobs are onerous. One of the more pleasant duties is that of registrar. Here, she was performing a wedding in the city offices last week. Madame Sivomey believes she has a mission to accomplish in the feminine cause, a cause, she says, which so often in Africa has been the victim of prejudice. The bride in this ceremony grows up into a world very different to that her ???other and grandmother would have known. Now, women in Togo have moved into senior positions--not only in politics, but also in education, commerce and industry.
As in most countries, the fully emancipated woman is still looked upon with suspicion by some. However, Madame Sivomey believes firmly that Togolese women have a major role to play in the development of the country.
Young women like this dominate some sections of industry--textiles particularly. Madame Sivomey is herself an example of the increasing part being played by women in politics...particularly local politics. She presides over a city in which women are also playing a major part in social services, and in the day to day running of shops and offices.