I’m a female mechanic. What’s next?
As a girl, going to school was a privilege. That was the motto of all the girls at school which helped them to get their primary school leaving certificate.
One girl, Gnon, wanted to learn a trade, but what? And how? Gnon was sold off to the highest bidder to make some money for her studies and help her family financially. But she also wanted to help sort out some of the problems in her village. Problems like girls being taken out of school to enter forced marriages or to help their mother at home.
Why should boys like Orou or Ayi go to school and not her?
Since her village was located at a crossroads, vehicles, especially taxis, were always passing by and were often breaking down. The village didn’t have a mechanic. So, she decided to repair cars. A female mechanic? No way! That requires strength and it’s a dirty job.
She learnt a lot by watching other mechanics who came to work there from other places. Some of them made fun of her and said it was a man’s job. But the garage owner, Bio, said a girl can do anything a boy can do. She was delighted. She convinced her parents. Mending cars would bring in more money for the whole family. Her apprenticeship with Bio began.
She wanted to get a professional diploma. She made it into Don Bosco college. In spite of the difficult conditions for a girl studying in a boy’s world: the looks from the boys, the lack of girls’ toilets, the ignorance of the teachers.She gave it her all and showed what she was capable of.
Being poor and studying in the city means living with a tutor. Many students have to put up with violence and unfair treatment. Let’s help women. Let’s involve them in day to day meetings and help them to become socially integrated. Let’s pursue quotas for female students, scholarships, reduced tuition fees and tutors as positive role models.
Go for it, girls! Make your dreams a reality!
Together let’s create a fairer future.
A future where men can be in the kitchen and women at work!
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Rachel Holland. Proofreader: Scarlett Newton.