Aya Virginie Toure
|Aya Virginie Toure|
|Known for||Organizing peace protests during the Second Ivorian Civil War|
Aya Virginie Toure is a peace activist in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). She became known for organizing women in nonviolent resistance against President Laurent Gbagbo who refused to step down since he lost the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara. Toure worked to mobilize women  as the Deputy Director for Ouattara's Ivorian presidential election, 2010.
Congress of Republican Women
In the Rally of the Republicans RDR, the ruling political party in Côte d'Ivoire, Aya Virginie Toure is the elected President of the Rally of Republican Women. (French: Rassemblement des femmes républicaines)(RFR).
She spoke out against Gbagbo and his inner circle of people who were allegedly sending taxpayers' money out of the country as their own personal wealth.
Leader of civil war protests
Toure organized numerous peace protests throughout Côte d'Ivoire during the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis. In an impassioned interview on BBC News, Toure compared the ongoing Second Ivorian Civil War to the 2011 Libyan civil war and asked for support from the international community. She called for military intervention to remove Laurent Gbagbo from power the same way Charles Taylor was removed in the Second Liberian Civil War.
On March 3, 2011, Toure led 15,000 women in a peaceful protest in Abidjan. Some were dressed in black, some were wearing leaves, and some were naked, all signs of an African curse directed toward Laurent Gbagbo. In the neighborhood of Abobo, they were met by security forces with tanks that opened fire on the women. Seven women were killed and approximately 100 were wounded. On March 8, International Women's Day, Toure organized 45,000 women in peaceful protests across the country. The women were met with youth armed with machetes and automatic weapons firing into the air at Koumassi. One woman and three men were killed in Abidjan by the army.
On March 23, at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Nigeria, a "One Thousand Women March" was organized by peace activists in West Africa in support of the women of Côte d'Ivoire. They wore white t-shirts and represented countries across West Africa including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo. They issued a press release and presented a position statement to the ECOWAS Heads of State.
On March 30, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1975 was adopted unanimously, demanding that Laurent Gbagbo step down as President and allow internationally recognised President Alassane Ouattara to take power. The resolution imposed sanctions on Gbagbo and his close associates. The resolution was sponsored by France and Nigeria.
- "Women in Ivory Coast lead the revolution against Gbagbo" (article). Newscast Media. March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "Campagne pour le 2e tour : Voici l’équipe choc du RHDP" (article). Le Nouveau Réveil. December 11, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- "Mme Touré Aya Virginie :"Comment les femmes préparent la victoire d'ADO"" (article). Patriote. April 3, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- "Election de la nouvelle Président du RFR".
- "Interview / Mme Touré Aya Virginie, Présidente du RFR - "Les Evêques doivent avoir le courage de dire la vérité"". The Patriot. January 11, 2011.
- "Ivory Coast's well-armed rebels making quick work of revolution" (article). The Guardian. April 1, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- "A plea for help from an Ivorian women's leader amid the violent power struggle" (radio broadcast). BBC Radio. March 23, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Country on the edge of CHAOS" (article). National Post. December 23, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
- "The Ivory Coast Effect" (article). The New Yorker. March 22, 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- "Ivory Coast: women shot dead at anti-Gbagbo rally" (article). Euronews. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Forces Kill 6 Women Marching in Ivory Coast" (article). abc News/International. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Ivory Coast women defiant after being targeted by Gbagbo's guns" (article). The Guardian. March 11, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
- "Ivorian women in anti-Gbagbo march through Abidjan" (radio broadcast). Reuters. March 8, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- "Four dead in Ivory Coast march" (article). Packistan News 24. March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "Statement on the Situation in Cote D’Ivoire By Leymah Gbowee" (statement). Pray The Devil Back to Hell Blog. March 8, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
- "ECOWAS Summit: West African women protest Ivorian situation" (article). Afrique en ligne. March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- ""Thousand Women Protest March" in Solidarity with the Women of Cote d’Ivoire" (article). WIPSEN. March 23, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Nigeria urges firmer U.N. stance on Ivory Coast" (article). Reuters. March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Security Council demands end to violence in Côte d'Ivoire, imposing sanctions against former President and urging him to 'step aside'". United Nations. March 30, 2011.
- ""Gbagbo must go" is call as UN Council OKs Cote d'Ivoire resolution". Xinhua. 31 March 2011.