Aissa Doumara was part of a historic moment of Friday at the Elysee Palace in Paris when she received the first women’s rights award from the French President, Emmanuel Macron. The Cameroonian activist received the award which was dedicated to the late minister, Simone Veil, who was also a campaigner for abortion.
The prize, worth a hundred thousand euros, was created last year to honor the late minister and Holocaust survivor who died in 2017. She is known for legalizing abortion in the 1970s. Doumara, in her acceptance speech, said she wished governments of other countries will adopt the same measure to support the struggles of women against violence.
The Cameroonian activist was born in 1972 and at the age of 15 was married off forcefully. She, however, defied her in-laws and completed her secondary education. In 1996, she set up an association focused on helping rape survivors and women who were victims of forced marriages. Reports have it that over a thousand women have benefited from her association since its establishment.
The French President, Macron, said his country will continue to support women like Doumara who made efforts to fight for the rights of other women.