Women’s Rights Day

Women’s Rights Day is a holiday observed annually on April 17th in Gabon, a country located on the Atlantic coast of Central Africa. This holiday was enacted to celebrate the women who have broken the glass ceiling and assumed roles in the government.

The holiday is observed on the anniversary of the death of Rose Francine Rogombé, the first female head of state for Gabon. She became the acting president of the country after President Omar Bongo Ondimba passed away from a heart attack.

The History of Women’s Rights Day in Gabon

Rose Francine Rogombé was born on September 20, 1942, in Lambarene, French Equatorial Africa—now known as Gabon. After studying in France, she returned to Gabon to work as a magistrate. She also held the position of Secretary of State for the Advancement of Women and Human Rights during the 1980s.

In the 2008 local elections, she was elected as a municipal councilor in Lambarene. She then became a Senator in the January 2009 Senate election. On February 16, 2009, she was elected President of the Senate.

Following the death of President Omar Bongo on June 8, 2009, the President of the Senate was next in the line of succession. On June 10, 2009, she was sworn in as president.

Observing Women’s Rights Day in Gabon

The holiday is marked with memorial services for Rose Francine Rogombé and by participating in events that advocate for women’s causes. On social media, the hashtag #WomensRightsDay is often used to spread awareness about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Gabon (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 17 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
April 17 Thursday
Last year (2023)
April 17 Monday