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Breaking the Education barrier

My father married my mother in 1979, he brought her all the way from eastern Nigeria to Lagos at the age of sixteen, my mother was never educated by her parents, because of the “she factor”. After my father brought her to Lagos, my mother told me that she asked my father to be educated but he replied her “ I didn’t married you to send you to school but for you to have children for me” that is the story of so many women in my community, the circle of the discrimination still continue till today.

I was lucky to be born in the city, the need for education influenced my father to send his children to school, right now we have female pharmacist , lawyer, accountant, nurse, communicator and biochemist in my family, my story ends up well but not for many.
Various factors prevent young women in my community from accessing education like micro inequality, lack of respect for women, economic constraint, lack of mentor, lack of confidence etc, the most prevailing is cultural barrier.
Cultural barrier is the greater factor that limits a girl child in my community, women are seen as becoming nothing than wives and mothers, so why will money be spend on them, they are not worth wasting resources on, but you see without the impact of educating a girl child , the society will not operate properly, the girl child are becoming better role models in the society.

Discrimination and lack of respect of the girl child is another factor that that limits the education, we are seem and not heard, our voices are nor relevance and when we speck we are hush, they tell us we don’t have a place in the community.
The impacts of barrier in educating the girl child will lead to increase in illiteracy, unwanted pregnancy, battering, abuse, violent rape of the girl child, but with education, this incident will drastically reduced and the girl child will be able to use various means which technology have afforded us to speak out against these ills in our community.

Education of the female child cannot be over emphasized, it not just to speak out, but to spread the truth that the girl child needs education, we might be termed weak but education and speaking out make us strong. As I look to launch my project “Beautiful She” set to educate one girl child at a time by distributing educational book or toys to enhance learning, i have overcome illiteracy and the girl child syndrome.

Education is the key to development.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »


pelamutunzi's picture

beautiful she

good luck with the project. hope many girls will benefit from such an initiative. lucky you managed to get education unlike your mother
keep up the good work

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.

nnenna's picture

lucky me

thank you pela,i have to make an impact,many woman lack the opportunity i have,i thank God that i can and will share this gift of being educated.


awinkie's picture

Keep it up!

Your post really shines light on the issues facing girls in your country, and is very similar to issues happening around the world. Beautiful She sounds like an amazing project. What are some of the strategies through this project that are helping breaking the education barrier?

nnenna's picture

Thank you

Thank you awinkie, Education here in my community is expensive because we have more people patronizing the private school because of the better quality education available in the private school. The public school are so under funded and affects the quality of education a child gets.
my project" beautiful she" aims to focus on the primary level in public schools because the poor are the ones attending these kinds of schools, i intend to use educational materials like books and educational toys to enhance knowledge for these children most especially the girl child.
when a child is given the right kind of education,the child will thrive, i intend to visit the rural area to distribute school bags and shoes, most parents in the rural community cant afford these necessary material for their children and i know a child that have the right tools puts her heart into being educated.

i am still working on finding private individuals and corporate bodies who will donate educational books,educational toys,schools bags to help make education of the girl child easy and put a smile on these needy children.


SallyB's picture

micro inequality

Thanks for using this term in your discussion of barriers for women to education in your country. I've never heard this term and I'd be curious to learn your definition of it. Thanks!

Hi Sally, Micro inequality is a term used to describe inequality based on the gender of the individual, when you are of the male gender in Nigeria, you are seem as superior,this kind of segregation can take the form of inequality in education, male are favor to go to school that the female, in term of having children, a woman who haven't given birth to a male in the society is regarded as a failure and will likewise be treated differently than a woman with male child or children.

Micro inequality is an Africa factor, it has being practice for ages and this have cause a lot of concern in the society, though it is changing with the emergence of education,still a lot of women are under treated in africa.


Lorraine R. Cook's picture

"the she factor"

Nnenna, I was really struck by the name of your project "Beautiful She" and your use of the phrase "the she factor." They capture a lot in two words. I also appreciated hearing a little of your mother's story as well as your own.

You say that in your community cultural barriers are the greatest factor in limiting education for girls. I think this theme shows in many communities because of such a long history of discrimination against women. It's an amazing time we live in when we can look at that, name it, and question it....and come up with ways to change that. Good job looking and naming, questioning, and taking action. I wish you well with your project.

Lorraine Cook

Together let us create "an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet" now.

nnenna's picture

Thanks sister

Lorraine, thanks for your wishes,i hope to impact in the life of many i come across, all my sister on world pulse are beautiful she, our beauty and selflessness radiant from inside out.
lots of love


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