Chimène is 8 years old, she is in 5th grade at Tchabi Cope school in Togo. She is Minister of Sports and Recreation in the school government set up in her school by Aide et Action. Since taking office, Chimène describes her vision as having changed a lot:
“Since the government was put in place, life in school has changed. As we are supposed to set a good example as ministers, we pay attention to our behavior and encourage our classmates to do the same. They are told that they have to come to school on time, learn their lessons, not tease each other, respect their parents and not give up classes.
I am proud of my role as Minister
As a girl, before I did not dare say much. But now it’s different. I was elected to my position, so I speak more and I do not hesitate to say what I think. I am proud of my role as minister. I have always loved sport and I do not think it’s just for boys. I even organized a football game at school and everyone was happy.
What a boy can do, a girl can do it too. You just have to trust and do not doubt too much. For girls, the atmosphere has changed at school, now we are comfortable, we feel free. There is more respect and less violence. “
Like Chimene, many girls are benefiting from the opportunities school governments give them to find their voice and assert their opinions. It is by encouraging girls to take on responsibilities at a young age within the school system that we can reduce gender inequalities and build girls’ confidence.