From grief to entrepreneurship: how work changed a women’s life

The death of my daughter was very difficult and sad, but I had to move forward. It was God’s choice. Work was my salvation. When I went to work and met with customers and friends, I was able to forget what happened and it helped me to stay positive towards the future.”

Since 2004, Mané owns a colorful boutique with stacks of decorative articles, bags, tissues and African fabrics. Heading to work in the busy Soumbédioune market helped her to cope with the loss and to regain meaning and happiness.

Owning her own boutique brought Mané financial freedom, a deep sense of security and the possibility to thrive in life. “Even though I am married, my husband does not control my earnings. I am able to take care of my needs and to pursue any activities and personal interests”.

Stillbirths are a major public health issue and a sensitive marker of the quality of care around pregnancy and birth. According to UNICEF, an estimated 2 million babies were stillborn at 28 weeks or more of gestation, with a global stillbirth rate of 14 stillbirths per 1,000 total births.

By noon, Fatou welcomes a group of customers to her boutique: "I am proud of being an independent and happy woman” she added.

Winner short human-interest story of the UN Women West and Central Africa Communications Retreat:
Soraia Ribeiro, Communications and Advocacy Specialist
Pearl Karungi, Communications Analyst