International Women's Day: Nine profiles of inspiring women at the African Development Bank

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Established in 1977 by the United Nations, International Women’s Day, March 8, is not just a one-time event celebrating women’s rights. It’s also an opportunity to discover the stories of great women in their own words: among them, Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President Agriculture, Human and Social Development; Christiane Moulo, Web Assistant in the Communications and External Relations Department; Vanessa Moungar, Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society; and Yuna Choi, Senior External Relations and Communications Officer in the External Representation Office for Asia. Nine remarkable women from the African Development Bank lent themselves to the delicate exercise of telling their stories. They look at advances in women’s rights and provide valuable advice to young women. The result: compelling stories tracing admirable career paths. Read them and be inspired.

Vanessa Moungar, Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society

“It’s a day that brings people together to celebrate women and provides an opportunity to take stock of the progress made, as well as challenges preventing women from fully contributing to our countries’ growth stories.”

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Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President Agriculture, Human and Social Development

“I look at this from a socioeconomic perspective. The bottom line is that women make up just over 50% of the world’s talent, and if they are not able to fully contribute to society and the economy, then we are shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot.”

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Hassatou Diop N'Sele, as Acting Vice-President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer

"Three times out of five, my boss has been a woman. I haven't felt advantaged or disadvantaged being a woman. But it is clear that women have more challenges to overcome than men. This inequality exists and persists."

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Oley Dibba-Wadda, Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development 

“Women’s Day should be celebrated every day because “we hold half of the sky and gave birth to the other half”. As such, women (as daughters, wives, mothers, and sisters), should be celebrated every day, every hour, every minute and every second.”

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Astrid Manroth, Director Transformative Energy Partnerships

“In my experience, being a woman has been an advantage when I worked in organizations that have embraced a culture of multiculturalism, respect, meritocracy and diversity. I have also been privileged to experience the benefits of inspiring women in senior management who make it a point to support and promote women in their organizations. ”

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Leila Farah Mokaddem, Country Manager, Morocco

"Being a woman has been an obstacle, a challenge and an advantage, all at the same time. It all starts with the family and social environment. I was given the same opportunity as my brothers to pursue an education."

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Yuna Choi, Senior External Relations and Communications Officer, External Representation Office for Asia

“Women have special eyes and perspectives in approaching many things. Women have the ability to resolve the numerous new challenges that lie ahead of us. I like the fact that women do their work or perform their duties very meticulously and successfully.”

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Victoria Flattau, former Young Professional, now Country Program Coordinator, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery Vice-Presidency

“If it wasn’t for that one way ticket I bought six years ago in search of professional enrichment, my career would not have led me to where I am today.”

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Christiane Moulo, Web Assistant, at the Communications and External Relations Department

"you need to strive for excellence in everything you take on. This is the only way to develop your self-confidence."

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