Challenging gender stereotypes in Sierra Leone


Aminata was just one of eight women on her electrician’s course of 360 students.

She was inspired to enrol after she had to hire a man to fix an electrical cable in her home.

She realised he was overcharging her so she asked him what the cause of the problem was and she would try and fix it herself. He laughed in her face and told her that this was not a job for women. This only made Aminata more determined and she vowed she would not have to rely on a man again to solve her problems.

‘As a woman I think you have to sometimes work twice as hard to prove you are just as good as a man.

‘Two weeks ago I went to the house of a woman to fix a problem, when she saw me arrive she kept saying ‘I don’t want you to burn my house down!’ Because I was a woman she thought I could not do the job. She asked me to go and find a man to help me.

‘But I did the job successfully and she was so shocked. She started to praise me and thank me. She took my number so she could call me next time she had a problem.’

Aminata graduated top of her class and is now enjoying ‘on the job training’ and building up a customer base. She admits that before the course she was suffering with depression as she could not earn enough money to support her family.

‘If I compare my life today to how it was before I see a lot of differences… Now I try to inspire other women who are not doing anything. I tell them ‘if you really want to be someone and have a good future you have to focus and work hard. I want to motivate them.’

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