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To accelerate the unfinished business of ICPD, UNFPA brings the voices of young activists to the fore


Throughout the world, gender inequalities remain a reality that undermines the development of women and girls. In Beninese communities, young people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to eradicate this anti-social phenomenon, and are getting involved in various ways in the fight against gender-based violence.

Through the network of champions for the fight against gender-based violence of the project “GBV prevention, protection and empowerment of girls and women in the context of covid-19”, supported by the Cooperation of Canada, UNFPA intends to strengthen the partnership with young people to encourage and boost their commitment to achieving transformative results and particularly “Zero gender-based violence, including harmful practices”.

As such, a directory of contacts of young actors has been established to enable activists, influencers and CSOs of young people committed to gender equality to connect with each other, share good practices, and benefit from capacity building by compensating for the weaknesses of some with the strength of others.

Read this article to explore the journey of some of our activists registered in the directory of young people committed to gender equality in Benin.


OCEANE DANHOUAN is 23 years old, she is a young activist committed to respecting girls' rights; she makes girls' and women's rights a personal commitment.

“I was in a very toxic relationship in which I felt dehumanised with a lot of threats, intimidation etc. I got out of it thanks to girl activists, it all started from there”. A member of several feminist movements such as “Young Girls, Agents of Development” and “Choose Yourself”, she joins her peers to carry out activities that aim to develop and encourage self-esteem, leadership, and the professional skills and qualifications of girls. These activities take different forms. Among other things, the facilitation of discussion spaces for girls on different themes such as sexual consent, rape, gender stereotypes. Océane DANHOUAN is passionate about writing, she is a contributor to the feminist blog Agoododjie.

Her struggle is not without risks. Online harassment, parental concerns, loss of certain friendships are all difficulties that Océane encounters in her actions to defend the rights of girls. But, “I remain convinced of one thing, the real social change that one can hope for must begin with oneself, so I remain focused on myself and my actions”.

 Bernadette M'PO, “la Femme Baobab (the Baobab Woman)” who fights for gender equality in the department of Atacora.

“I have been a militant activist since I was 18 and president of the NGO Femme Baobab in the Septentrion. ”

Bernadette takes great interest in the education of girls and the most vulnerable. Aware of the transformational power of the education of the latter to reduce their vulnerability and give them autonomy, she organises awareness sessions, radio programmes, and engages in advocacy to reduce inequalities between men and women. With her NGO, she works on several themes in the municipalities of Atacora: advocacy for the abandonment of child marriage, keeping girls in school, the socio-professional reintegration of girls, female leadership. To strengthen the resilience of women, the president of Femme Baobab proposes the education of women, their empowerment and also the questioning of our societal practices as solutions to achieve an egalitarian and sustainable future. In June 2019, she participated as a gender expert, at the summit “Africa Week” in the Netherlands. This was an opportunity for her to highlight the situation of Beninese rural women and the efforts they make to develop their community in the commune and to learn about the struggles of women in Varseveld for their emancipation.

Mike Comanbè ADJASSIN is a dynamic and very committed young activist working for all issues related to community development.

“I am Mike ADJASSIN, I am 27 years old. I am the current Youth Mayor of the Parakou commune; I am an independent consultant on issues related to the implementation of public policies and also a writer for community and humanitarian projects”. 

Very early on, he embarked on community actions as part of the development of young people. His community involvement, his dedication and above all his attachment to the benefit of actions for the promotion of the youth of his country in general, his community and the most vulnerable demographics in particular have enabled him to be spotted by local, national and international organisations to coordinate a number of projects promoting education for the benefit of young girls, gender-based violence (GBV), the empowerment of girls and women from rural areas, sexual and reproductive education for young girls in schools, to mention but a few. He initiated some projects such as: the Blogging initiation project and gender-based violence against young girls in the municipality of Parakou; the Project for the promotion of women's rights in the public sector in the Republic of Benin in general and in the commune of Parakou in particular or the Information, training and awareness project on menstrual hygiene and the manufacture of sanitary towels for young girls in the municipality of Parakou.

The United Nations Population Fund supports young people on the way to an egalitarian future.