To mark Women’s History Month, we are highlighting a woman whose story returns to us again and again, bringing with it a new triumph each time. She is constantly evolving and growing as her passion for telling others what she’s learned and for helping her community are on a continual path upward.
“Before, my husband would not let me go anywhere, always having to return home each evening no matter what the circumstance,” Marième says. “If she did not return home each night, she would be beaten,” says her husband, Souleymane. Now, she spends time traveling each month to villages in her region as a Social Mobilization Agent (SMA), promoting social norm change and improved health practices. She completed a six month stay in India as a student at Barefoot College. There, she learned to be a solar power production engineer, gaining the knowledge and skills to install and repair solar panels. She continues to maintain solar equipment in her village and surrounding areas.
Her passion for sharing what she has learned is changing the expectations of women and girls and social norms for future generations. These achievements earned Marième the Pioneer Woman Prize (seen wearing in picture) by the Ministry of Women, Family, Gender, and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups, on March 08, 2022, International Women’s Day, at the Grand Théâtre in Dakar.
When she thinks of the future for young women, including her own daughters, Marième hopes for more access to formal education and improved relationships.
“If you see our children going to school and attending university, it’s thanks to Tostan and their help.”