Aminetou Mint El Moctar

Activist Type
Women's Rights

Aminetou Mint El Moctar is a Mauritian feminist and human rights activist who has been recognized for her work defending women’s rights and combating slavery in Africa. In 2006 she received the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic and was shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.

At the age of thirteen, like many young people in Mauritania, Aminetou was forced into an early marriage. Rather than accept the situation, she chose to speak out against the practice which she has called “a barrier to enhancing women’s leadership and development.” Labeled a rebel at a young age, El Moctar would go on to dissent against human rights violations such as human trafficking and slavery.

As the president of the Association of Association of Women Heads of Family, Mint El Moctar has used her platform to give a voice to those who have none. Because of her activism Aminetou has been targeted and attacked numerous times by her opposition. In addition to being wrongfully arrested and tortured, a fatwa was issued against her in 2014. Despite this declaration, threats against her family, and the physical abuse she has endured, Mint El Moctar continues to campaign for legislative reform ensuring that laws and rights are within the reach of all people, particularly women and children.

Artwork by
Stephen Lim

This illustration is based on a portrait of Aminetou Mint El Moctar and is intended to express the quiet and peaceful aura exuded from her expression in the simplest way possible.


Mauritania Flag
November 28, 1960
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