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Catherine Samba-Panza

Catherine Samba-Panza

Samba-Panza’s acting presidency was welcomed by many and predicted to bring change in C.A.R. Having gained a ministerial moniker of being “incorruptible” she was well placed by merit to administer the country. Further than that, in a country where men have been seen as perpetrators of violence, she evaded such stigmatization as a woman and relied on her activist grooming to fully effect change.

The interim Presidency of Catherine Samba-Panza not only demonstrated the importance of having women in positions of leadership but also giving women a platform and a voice to play major roles in conflict resolution because it is women who bear the brunt of wars and conflicts in countries. Allowing them to be part of peacebuilding offers a new perspective in peacebuilding and nation building that previously did not exist.

Although Samba-Panza is a woman who promised to advance the inclusion of women, the promotion of rights and justice of women and children, her efforts in doing so leave much to be desired as she drove a peacebuilding and anti-corruption mandate more viciously.

Her Christianity as well as her political neutrality has ensured that she receives respect from both parties of the religious spectrum, especially from within the Christian majority. She embodied her feminism in that she did not only use her position and status as interim head of state to advance her career in politics but she also had a huge influence within the association of women jurist in CAR and she specifically fought against genital mutilations as well as other forms of unfair practice and violence against women in CAR.