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The Plumber Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes

Bibata works as the only female plumber in her town.

Bibata’s story is unique.

She was sent to Burkina Faso from Ivory Coast to live with her grandmother after falling pregnant in sixth grade.

Her parents were incredibly angry at the situation, and Bibata was given 100 dollars and sent to a country she had never known, to manage her life as best she could.

She started selling groundnuts and mangos to make a living and spent some of her earnings taking evening classes. It wasn’t long before she passed her primary school completion exam.

When she found out about Plan International’s vocational training courses, she immediately applied, with plumbing as her first choice. She embarked on the course with 22 other students, 21 of whom were boys.

Bibata continued taking evening classes in order to obtain her high school diploma. With grit and determination, she succeeded! She immediately started work as a plumber—the only female plumber in her town.

Today, she often finds herself confronted with unscrupulous clients who engage in sexual harassment and indecent proposals.

“I stop them by asking them if they would dare behave this way if I was a man,” she said.

“I want to become the most prominent female entrepreneur in Burkina Faso,” she added.

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