Geneva street renamed for Annie Jiagge

November 1, 2021

The city of Geneva plans to rename a street in honor of Annie Jiagge, the first African woman to serve as president of the World Council of Churches, which has its headquarters in the city.

Jiagge, a Presbyterian from Ghana, became president of the WCC in 1975. A lawyer, she was also the first woman in Ghana to become a judge. From 1962 to 1972, Jiagge served on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, where she wrote the first draft of what would become the UN’s Declaration on the Elimination of Dis­crim­ination against Women.

The street renaming comes as part of an effort in Geneva to highlight the accomplishments of women who have contributed to the city’s history and to fix an imbalance in who the city’s streets are named after.

According to the city, of all the Genevan streets named after people, only 7 percent are named after women. The initiative plans to rename 100 streets over a three-year period.