The Organisation of Active Women in Ivory Coast (OFACI) formed in 1999 when a group of young women who share a love of liberty, equality, justice, general welfare and women, found themselves in a think tank working towards creating programmes that would uphold these values.
The organisation focuses on:
- Promoting and protecting the rights of women
- Promoting the political empowerment, economic and social status of women
- Taking an active part in the democratisation process within the country
- Fighting for the dissemination of a culture of peace
- Organizing literacy activities for girls
- Designing and implementing development projects that benefit women
- Promoting the spirit of unity and solidarity between women
They have taken an active part in the Truth and Reconciliation process, including attending and providing information at the Installation Ceremony and the hearing and collection of evidence of victims for the District of Abidjan under the direction of the International Criminal Court, as well as setting up and promoting a National Day of Peace.
In addition to these activities, OFACI sets up seminars and peace training sessions to create awareness for the reduction of violence against women, civic education and citizenship responsibilities, transparency in justice, human and women’s rights training, capacity building for civil society organisations, promoting a culture of peace and the monitoring and documenting of human rights violations.
The women of OFACI launched television and radio programs on good citizenship in coordination with the Ivorian Radio Broadcasting Television station, along with caravans of discussion forums on the same theme in public places in major cities across the country.
During the height of the Ivorian crisis, the women of OFACI were instrumental in preparing reports on the status of women’s rights and democratisation within the country by conducting field surveys in areas of extreme violence on cases of violence against women, including rape, torture, summary executions, ill treatment and the cessation of economic activities due to destruction or loss of livelihood. OFACI then pleaded with the Ivorian authorities to help provide medical, psychological, and legal assistance to these affected women regardless of their religious, political or ethnic affiliation.
OFACI has 10 rights observation locations across the country that produces monthly reports on the state of women’s rights within the country. They are instrumental in pushing for the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the commitment to see at least 30% representation of women within elected positions, and the prohibition of the use of torture.
In the future, OFACI intends on advancing their capacity-building through education and assistance programs for women and young voters on issues of human and women’s rights, creating a broader structure to monitor and promote human rights and democracy, fighting against Female Genital Mutilation, and opening centers of peace in conflict areas.