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May 2, 2017

Testimonial: USAID Education Emergency Support Activity

Reflections on my life as a Malian Woman by Saoudatou Maiga

My name is Saoudatou MAIGA. I’m 35 years old, married and mother of a child. I was born and grew up in Gao. I went to school along with my brothers. It was a change for me and I am glad today to be participating in an important international day; the International Woman’s Day, “8 March”.

My culture could have put me at a disadvantage, but my vision and determination as a woman have allowed me today to realize this dream. I dream to be a woman who can contribute to reduce inequality between men and women.

Because of my studies I am determined to achieve my ambitions: I graduated from a higher level D.U.T.S in Accounting. After my studies I have been working my community to raise awareness on gender equality. I am committed to support women and men; youth and children in this goal.

I was Assistant Secretary in the organization RHODAR (Reflection and Action Network for Humanitarian Aid and Development in Northern Mali). In this role,  I supported several professional and community associations that value the place of the woman in my community.

I have carried out several functions that have provided support and assistance to men and women who have been the victims of conflicts in northern Mali.

As a woman I was able to hold positions or perform duties just like men. Today I am the Community Mobilization Coordinator on USAID-EESA Emergency Education Support Program in GAO.

In this role, I do a lot of outreach and training activities for the women and men in my community. I remain convinced that all these efforts will be lessons for those who do not believe that women can conduct development initiatives as well as men. Especially in the current context that favors the destruction of social cohesion, women's roles will be very important in creating a climate of peace. I am sure that many women are now in the same position as me and if we put our efforts together, the whole world will benefit from gender equality.

I am proud to be a woman because my action in my community will bring about equality. I had the opportunity be education and active in my community and I want to offer the same opportunity to today’s girls.  This is the reason I am proud to be part of the USAID-EESA program.