June 25, 2024

TRENDING NOW: Bassirou Diomaye Faye Elected Fifth President of Senegal on March 24, 2024  🇸🇳

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The municipal elections in Ziguinchor, Senegal, once witnessed a groundbreaking moment for female political leadership with the election of Justine Manga as mayor of the commune of Nyassia. Manga’s victory, which came amidst debates over the scarcity of women in political roles within the region, was a significant stride in challenging the status quo.

Raised in Katouré, a village deeply affected by the Casamance conflict, Manga’s political ambitions were always rooted in the empowerment of women in her community. Despite earning a BTS in international commerce from a technical high school in Dakar, she chose to return to her native region, a decision that faced skepticism and opposition from her family. Yet, Manga’s resolve to serve her community and advance women’s rights never wavered.

Her involvement in various women’s organizations and her work with the Usoforal NGO on a project for women’s empowerment and peace in Casamance were pivotal in her journey. Manga’s political career also flourished as she started in the Union of Young Democrats (UJT) during her university days.

Manga’s perseverance paid off when she was elected the second deputy mayor of the outgoing municipal council. In the subsequent local elections, she garnered enough support to unseat the incumbent mayor, a candidate from the ruling coalition and a protégé of the president’s party.

This victory was not just a personal triumph but a beacon of hope for women’s empowerment. Described by her supporters as tireless and capable, Manga became the first female mayor of Nyassia and a rare female figure in Casamance’s political landscape. Her tenure as mayor may have been brief, but it was marked by ambition and a vision for greater achievements, hinting at a potential run in the legislative elections.

Manga’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and the impact of challenging societal norms. Her story is an inspiration, demonstrating that dedication can lead to remarkable accomplishments against all odds. Her election paved the way for more women to assume leadership roles, fostering a more equal and inclusive society in the region. Manga’s legacy continues to inspire, serving as a shining example of women’s empowerment and the transformative power of resilient leadership.

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