Share Image
«Une femme leader connait ses forces et ses réussir est sa priorité»

SWEDD is an innovative project that works with African countries to empower women and girls, and improve their access to quality reproductive, maternal and child health services.


"A woman leader knows her strengths and weaknesses...and success is her priority"

04 June 2024

SWEDD en action

Twenty-one-year-old Ruth Amadine Oro Tanon is studying for a degree in communications at Félix Houphouët- Boigny University in Abidjan. She is one of the SWEDD project’s Stronger Together ambassadors due to her charisma and dedication.

Coming from a family of 12 brothers and five sisters, she began her fight for women’s rights in high school. “It all started when I was 17,” she says. “Like other girls my age, I had decided to have sex, because I felt grown-up. My high school supervisor told me there was going to be a meeting about sexual health. I came out of the workshop motivated to pursue my studies, because what I had been about to do would’ve disrupted them.” In her final year of secondary
school, Ruth raised awareness among her classmates of the dangers of early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Her enthusiasm saw her selected as a panelist for another training session.

“I use contraceptive methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies,” Ruth says unashamedly in a video message for the Stronger Together campaign run by the SWEDD project across the Sahel. Now a member of the student association for the Department for Women in Information and Communication Sciences, she promotes women’s leadership and their integration into economic and social life.

“I give talks to girls, which had proved successful in my high school, where I went from class to class.” She says that the main problem facing female students is poverty. “Their parents don’t have the resources, so female students don’t know how to afford food or fees. They’re left to their own devices and want to be like everyone else, which can put them at risk of bad influences and dangerous behaviour.” “Success is a priority”

Her classmates see her as a role mode, respecting her strength of character and determination. “I put my heart and soul into women’s development activities,” she says. For her, a woman leader is “one who knows her strengths and weaknesses, who sets a good example through her actions, and for whom success is a priority, which leads her to push her limits and work hard.”

Find out how the SWEDD project is changing lives across sub-Saharan Africa in the book SWEDD in Action: Promoting Women's Full Potential here


couv EN