In Côte d’Ivoire, as we have found in many other places around the world, violence against women in politics has long been hidden, unknown, unrecognized, ignored or considered part of the "normal" practice of politics or as the "cost of politics." This is true for women across political sectors, including as voters, candidates, activists and elected or appointed officials. While political parties in Côte d’Ivoire serve as critical pathways for women’s political participation and engagement, including for young or new politicians, they continue to be male-dominated institutions, which allows and enables violence against women in their ranks. Because women believe that speaking out will at best have no real impact, and at worst make their situations worse, the violence women face within political parties has also gone largely unreported.
Fatoumata Bako joined NDI in 2006 to support political party members, including women leaders, to better use information and communications technologies (ICTs). As a Senior Program Assistant, she has also supported a wide range of initiatives to promote women’s political participation and women’s contributions to democratic processes in Côte d’Ivoire. Fatou holds a diploma in computer science.