Nationality

Côte d'Ivoire

Education

Masters in Business and Administration, Université de Paris 13 Villetaneuse, France

Graduate Diploma in Psycho-sociology, Université de Paris 9 Dauphine, France

Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration, Université de Reims, IUT de Troyes, France

Languages

English, French

I was brought up in an Ivorian-Ghanaian tribe where women were represented socially, professionally and politically. For example, my grandmother was the decision-maker in our family. When I went to school, however, and when I looked at our government, I saw that women were left out and neglected. This frustrated me greatly. It left me with a desire to pioneer change so that everyone, regardless of their gender, could have equal opportunities. Today, I am immensely proud to say that I am a male working for the United Nations in gender affairs.

I have recently become a Gender Affairs Officer with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, but for the past five years I have been in a similar role with the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA). With state authority weak in many parts of the country, BINUCA’s aim is to strengthen the Central African Republic’s democratic institutions by mobilizing international political support, monitoring developments and promoting human rights. My job was to ensure that gender was taken into account at every stage of the process. I also provided leadership training for women, and campaigned for their political rights.

In 2008, for example, my team and I helped to create a national platform for women called G23. This initiative brought together leaders from ten non-governmental organisations working for women’s participation in the Central African Republic. We campaigned as one, and advocated for women’s involvement in the upcoming formal peace process. As a result of our efforts, forty women participated in the national weeklong peace talks when originally, there were just a dozen women scheduled to attend.

United Nations employees go to places that no one else can or are willing to go. Even at an isolated duty station, I feel very much a part of our global network of civil servants, disseminating the message of peace and equality to every corner of the planet. To work for the Organization, you need to embody its core values: Integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity. If you have these qualities then I challenge you to bring all you have to the Untied Nations.

Of course, working for the Organization takes up a significant portion of my life, more than if I had another job with a less challenging workload. But I had time to enjoy myself in Bangui. Two years ago, I set up a local soccer team with friends. Our weekly competition grew and caught the attention of the staff at my duty station, where my colleagues embraced the idea. Last year we organised an exhibition match at our local stadium, which pitted United Nations employees (men and women) against a team of parliamentarians and African Union representatives. The atmosphere was electric and around 1,500 spectators attended the event. I’m proud to say that the United Nations team won 1-0!

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