Aminetou Mint El Moctar

“We need to continue to raise taboo issues in order to break them, to make people aware of their rights and duties”

Aminetou Mint El Moctar, human rights activist (Mauritania)
UNICEF

In Mauritania, Aminetou Mint El Moctar is an outspoken activist who raises taboo issues to fight for women’s rights.

Aminetou Mint El Moctar is President of the Association of Female Heads of Household and indefatigable human rights activist.  

“First and foremost, I’m campaigning for change,” says El Moctar. “As long as impunity, discrimination, slavery, racism still exist.” 

Undaunted by the fatwa issued against her in 2014, El Moctar continues to call for equality before the law. She is adamant that laws must be within everyone’s reach, regardless of race, colour, ethnicity or gender. 

“We need to continue to raise taboo issues in order to break them, to make people aware of their rights and duties and, above all, to denounce all inhuman, degrading and discriminatory practices towards people, especially women and children,” says El Moctar. 

El Moctar encourages others to stand up for their rights and to speak out against discrimination, racism and exclusion.  

“Mauritanian women, the Mauritanian people, the forgotten and voiceless, all need someone who believes in them and their problems, someone campaigning for equality, for fair justice and for a rule of law that respects the values of democracy.’’

El Moctar is most fulfilled when she is helping others to solve their problems, especially those who are vulnerable: “That’s when I am truly at my happiest, when I am most at ease and when I know that my work has resulted in something.” 

Brave, compassionate and outspoken, El Moctar is a changemaker in the lives of those whose voices are strengthened by hers.