Former Judge, International Criminal Court (ICC).

Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra

My father, a trader, who was remarkably open-minded, took up the recommendation of a colonial administrator who was a friend of his, and decided to enroll me in school in 1956. My grand-mother had to be made to understand that school was useful. I was saved by my primary school teachers who genuinely wanted me to gain an education. In a colonial society, it is the instinct for justice and equity. For me, there was no doubt about it. I wanted to be a judge. When you grow up in a colonized society, and later newly independent, I was 18 or 19, and I had the conviction that by becoming a judge I would help people regain their rights.

Quoted in International Courts and the African Woman Judge: Unveiled Narratives (Routledge, 2018).

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