PIONEER AFRICAN WOMEN IN LAW
Amina Mousso Ouédraogo Traoré
First Woman Vice President of the Supreme Court
By Khoudia Leye
Aminata Mousso Ouedraogo was born on June 12, 1948, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. After her primary education, she enrolled in Lycée Philippe Zinder Kaboré, where she successfully passed both her Ordinary (O) Levels (1966), and subsequently Advanced (A)Level (1969) examinations. Her academic brilliance won her a scholarship for further studies at Université-Aix- en Provence in France, where she earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Law ( 1976) and a Master’s degree (1977).
Upon completing her graduate studies, Aminata returned home to assume important positions in the judiciary. She joined the Regional Court of Ouagadougou as a Deputy Public Prosecutor in 1979. She gradually climbed the ladder to become a member of the constitutional Court from 1991 to 1992 and the Attorney General of the Court of Auditors from 2002 to 2005. In April 2005, she became the first female and the third individual after Tiémoko Marc Garango and Jean Baptiste Kafando to assume the prestigious position of the Ombudsperson of Burkina Faso, a position held in high esteem which represents a tremendous honor for the individual that holds it.
The extensive experience Aminata acquired during the many years of her legal profession honed her skills to become a leading advocate for women’s rights in the country. and also known for her passion for gender equality and children’s rights. With regards to her passion for women's rights, she is attributed with having been instrumental in the establishment of the WILDALF’s office in Burkina Faso, to aid the fight against the violation of women’s rights; promotion of women’s empowerment, and enhancement of their participation on issues that affect their lives. As one of the first female legal scholars, she spearheaded the founding of the Association of Women Lawyers of Burkina Faso (AFJ/BF), becoming the Association’s Vice President and later assuming the presidency from 2003 to 2006. In the same vein, Aminata led a host of programs to advocate for the protection of vulnerable groups in Burkina Faso. This includes, among others, the sponsorship of the “Because I am a girl” campaign for girls initiated by PLAN Burkina in 2012.
Aminata Mousso is an award-winning pioneer, a passionate supporter of justice and, a voice of the voiceless. In 2008, she was elected General Secretary of the Association of Ombudsmen of UEMOA’s Member States in West Africa (AMP-UEMOA). She has received several awards in Burkina Faso, and on December 26, 2011, she was elevated to the rank of Officer in the National Order of Merit for her dedication and faithful services to the nation. In a nutshell, Amina Mousso Ouedraogo is a woman of character and a well-respected legal expert in Burkina Faso.
Even though currently on retirement, she is still active in civil society issues and continues to serve on the Board of Autorite Superieur de controle d’etat et de Lutte Contre la Corruption (ASCE-LC), a Higher State Supervision and Anti-Corruption, the supreme body responsible for conducting internal administrative audits and tackling corruption in Burkina Faso. Aminata Mousso Ouedraogo is happily married to Ali Ouedraogo, Professor of gynecology, at Université Ki Zerbo of Ouagadougou. The couple is blessed with two sons.