Christine Agnélé Mensah-Atoemne

Quaviff: Quality of Life of Women and Girls

Christine Agnélé Mensah-Atoemne is founder of Quaviff: Quality of Life of Women and Girls, a theater group to transform attitudes toward girls and women in Togo. She formed this organization to send a new message to rural communities about the role of women in development. Quaviff has reached more than 40,000 people. Quaviff has also created an education center in Lomé for street children, which gives them skills training such as wood carving, weaving, and batik-making.

In 2005, Christine joined the government as the minister responsible for the Protection of the Rights of Children and the Elderly. Since December 2007, she has served as a member of the Togolese Parliament and chairs the Commission on Human Rights. In this capacity, Christine has initiated a project to better promote the rights of women and children. A particular triumph was a successful three-year campaign bringing hundreds of girls age 7-12 out of voodoo convents (institutions which initiate children into the voodoo religion and often keep them for up to three years). and back to school.

Christine has also created microcredit programs focused on improving food security (including cereal banks). In 2005, she received the Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life from the Women's World Summit Foundation.

A teacher by profession, Christine was born in the village of Tohoun in southeast Togo in 1957.