Simone Ehivet Gbagbo is Cote d'Ivoire's First Lady.
First Lady of Cote d'Ivoire (2000-)
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Simone Ehivet Gbagbo is the First Lady of Cote d'Ivoire. A native of Grand Bassam, Mrs. Gbagbo is an educator with a PhD in Oral Literature.
She is also a university lecturer, a linguistics researcher and a seasoned politician.
She is the mother of five children, all female. As a young girl Mrs. Gbagbo dreamt of a teaching career, so when opportunity came she became a high school instructor, from there she went on to become a university lecturer, a career path she has in common with her husband, President Laurent Gbagbo.
A community activist, Mrs. Gbagbo once headed SYNARES, the powerful union of Ivoirian university professors.
A politician in her own right, Simone Gbagbo has been a member of the Front Patriotique Ivoirien (FPI, today's ruling party) since its early days when the party was forced into clandestinity by the regime of the late President Felix Houphouët-Boigny.
Her dedication finally paid off in 1995 when she was elected MP for the Abobo electoral district in Greater Abidjan. She also heads her party's parliamentary caucus and is considered to be a member of the hawkish wing of FPI.
She became first lady in 2000.
Simone Gbagbo has been involved in many initiatives targeting women and girls.
A fairly vocal person, especially against France, Simone Gbagbo has been named in quite a few controversies.
She is in her own way redefining the role of the African first lady. She has been dubbed the "Hillary Clinton of Africa" and is rumored to be considering a presidential run when her husband leaves office.
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Jun/20/