This contribution examines the psychological domain of women's agency in a neighborhood on the urban fringe of Bamako, Mali. Based on fieldwork in 2009 and 2011, the study uses inductive qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the factors contributing to women's individual and collective initiatives to improve well-being. The local concepts of dusu (internal motivation) and ka da I yèrè la (self-belief) emerged through this research. The contribution examines the instrumental and intrinsic importance of dusu and ka da I yèrè la to women's individual and collective agency and analyzes the construction of dusu and ka da I yèrè la through relational processes within women's social milieu. Finally, the study explores the complex relationship between dusu and ka da I yèrè la and women's decision-making ability and access to resources, concluding that the psychological domain plays an important role in women's agency and social change.