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"women are increasingly find their voice in rural communities....Jos,Nigeria"

Recently,on a visit to the ministry of environment on an advocacy visit to the commissioner on environment, who incidently used to be my boss at an ngo here in Jos, Plateau State. I wanted to talk about some of the things we could do with our women group for the year 2008 on environmental sanitation next year. While we were chating a woman works in and they started talking about whether he should employ her or not( the ministry was employing about 1000 women as sanitary officers to help keep the city clean, she was there earlier he had asked her to confer and obtained her husband's permission before she would be short listed). So he asked my opinion whether it was okey to employ her because she would be leaving her husband and children in another town four hours from where she will be employed. He equally said the government was not trying to cause marital disharmony by providing this window of opportunity but was trying to empower women. So I said well these days women are worried about meeting their daily needs rather then just being married and improvished. Really! he asked, do I think that marriages are now based on economic reasons even for rural women? I said, well times are changing....Talking alone later with the lady who tells me to call her Asabe, I asked if she wasn't worried that her husband would marry someone else(a man in most communities in Nigeria can easily marry an additional wife if he wants, this would be a valid reason to do so!) if she moves to the city, she laughed and argued he would only do that if he had the money to. Besides, she chuckled he currently doesn't have a job either! I was trully amazed because a few years back it would be unthinkable for a 'village woman' as they would say over here to leave her husband and children and move to the city, rather it used to be the other way round.... so I guess gradually women are beginning to find their voice, which to my mind is finding expression through a need for financial independence.


"I said, well times are changing.... Gradually women are beginning to find their voice, which to my mind is finding expression through a need for financial independence."--Mary Omble Wuya, Nigeria

Thanks for telling this story... it has made my day!

Maria Jett, Online Community Director

Ramya Ramanathan's picture

Dear Mary, Great to see you

Dear Mary,

Great to see you online. I loved Asabe's spirit and confidence...Thanks for sharing.

Ramya Ramanathan's picture

Dear Mary, Great to see you

Dear Mary,

Great to see you online. I love Asabe's spirit and confidence...Thanks for sharing.

Jensine's picture

Welcome, Mary!

It is such a joy to have your voice with us in PulseWire! I look forward to hearing more of your stories and learning more about your programs and your visions. We are here for you.

In partnership-

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

Goldie Davich's picture


Wow. Thank you for this story. Welcome to PulseWire!!! I want to encourage you to share these stories as often as you are able. I am talking to the women in my life right now about what it means to feel empowered. I would like to pass your story about Asabe on.
Goldie Davich, PulseWire Online Intern

Gene's picture

Nigeria is Special to me

I a a member of the Marianist Order. We used to have members of our order working in Nigeria. Many of the Countries in Africe are a special interest of mine. I am interested in the education of children and of course am concerned with the sanitation question.

Even though I am thousands of miles away I support you in your efforts to help your people.


Corine Milano's picture

Environmental sanitation

Thank you so much for posting this to PulseWire! It's stories like these that I love to hear.

I'm wondering how that meeting turned out—did you get any ideas about some of the things you can do with your women's group in 2008? PulseWire is the perfect place to share ideas about this kind of thing, or to offer suggestions to other community groups that may be struggling!

Thanks again and I look forward to an update!

Corine Milano, Assistant Editor

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