In a recent interview, Leonor Epam Biribe, Minister of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women, discussed her government’s initiatives for improving the status and condition of women in Equatorial Guinea.
The government of Equatorial Guinea has invested heavily in programs that benefit women and to address some of the challenges the female population faces. “My goals are now the same as before: to continue working in favor of women and children,” said Minister Epam Biribe.
Women have noticed positive changes in recent years as the government has invested in housing, training of women, and programs that benefit families. “Many things have improved,” said Minister Epam Biribe. “Our effort has not gone to waste, and women are now aware of the effort made by this ministry and value it. Many women receive professional training and enroll in talks and many courses we organize. These projects have been able to improve their performance and capacity.”
Because education is fundamental to improving opportunities and living standards, Equatorial Guinea has carried out a campaign aimed at parents over several years that stressed the importance of educating both men and women. “The results can be seen in the enrollment of schools and universities that are very high in women, almost the same number as in men,” said Minister Epam Biribe. “That is a very significant accomplishment.”
Equatorial Guinea’s First Lady, Constancia Mangue Nsue de Obiang, has helped change the view that society has of women in Equatorial Guinea. Educating women is one of her top priorities. Her continuous involvement in activities to promote social development has made her a leading figure in changing the status of women in Equatorial Guinea. “She has provided many grants and loans through associations, boosting the economy of women,” said Minister Biribe.
Minister Leonor Epam Biribe started working in the Social Affairs and Promotion of Women sector in 1998. She has worked with the Association of Women, was president of the Secondhand Clothes Market. She was the first Inspector General of Services of the Ministry, Regional Delegate, State Secretary and Vice Minister. Minister Biribe is the current National Executive President of the Women's Organization of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE).