Aoua Keita (1912-1980) was a Malian midwife and anti-colonial activist.

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When and where were professional training institutions for women in French West Africa first established?

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In 1938, the École Normale at Rufisque opened enabling young women to train as schoolteachers for the first time. Although located in Senegal, both institutions accepted young women from the whole of French West Africa.

What political rights did colonized peoples acquire in the aftermath of the Second World War?

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What changes did the Marriage Code of 1962 introduce in Mali?

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Polygamy and female genital mutilation were not prohibited, contrary to the demands of activists such as Aoua Keita.

In what type(s) of women’s organizations was Aoua Keita active before Mali became independent?

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What did the Union of West-African Women (UFOA) demand in 1959?

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When and where were professional training institutions for women in French West Africa first established? The midwifery section of the Dakar School of Medicine was created in 1918, and housed the first girls’ professional training programme of its kind. In 1938, the École Normale at Rufisque opened.
What political rights did colonized peoples acquire in the aftermath of the Second World War? The right to freedom of assembly and association was acquired in 1946. The right to vote was progressively extended until the granting of universal suffrage to adult men and women, in 1956.
In what type(s) of women’s organizations was Aoua Keita active before Mali became independent? In the women’s wing of her party, the US-RDA, where she would go on to spearhead the organization of women from 1958; in a women’s trade union which she helped to found in 1956; and in national and Panafrican women’s associations.
What did the Union of West-African Women (UFOA) demand in 1959? The institution of civil marriage and the obligatory consent of both spouses; the prohibition of child marriage, polygamy and repudiation; and measures against desertion of the family home.
What changes did the Marriage Code of 1962 introduce in Mali? The secularization of marriage, the limitation on the amount payable as a dowry, the prohibition of repudiation and forced marriage, and a minimum legal age of 15 for the marriage of young girls.