Please help, please help! The country then chose Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Africa's first elected female head of state. But what was shocking by any yardstick last week was the Ivorian army's lethal response — attacking women in such a way had previously been regarded as taboo. A women's peace movement in neighbouring Liberia was influential in ending a civil war and forcing president Charles Taylor into exile. When a population is yearning for freedom, it has no fear. Some women were running and others were putting clothes on the corpses. But suddenly they started shooting at them.
Some women feel the world's response has been inadequate.
Ivory Coast women defiant after being targeted by Gbagbo's guns
I had called all the mothers and sisters into the street and I felt guilty for what happened. Toure estimated that about of the demonstrators were either naked or wearing black. We don't know what to do. This has been the inner turmoil of Aya Virginie Toure, principal organiser of a peaceful demonstration by 15, women that ended in unthinkable, horrifying carnage. But resolute and unbowed, women young and old were back out in force this week brandishing placards that said: Toure is president of a women's group allied to the party of Alassane Ouattara, the man regarded by the international community as the winner of November's disputed election.