Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Is your wife working?

The socio-economic study team from Kaduna reached the proposed housing estate project site in a satellite community in Abuja, Nigeria at about 2.30 p.m. I was on this team, which was assigned the task of generating adequate socio-economic data required for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed housing estate.

By the next morning, we headed for the community leader’s residence; so we could intimate him of our mission to his district. Opposite his residence, I observed a group of busy women and children under a blossoming medium-sized tree. While the children played on, each woman seemed to be engaged in a form of activity- the only one standing was busy threading her customer’s long black hair.

Three women were trading their wares, the pregnant woman in their midst nibbled away on something she kept taking out of a small nylon bag on her lap, and others just chatted and giggled on. I approached the women and greeted them, “Sanun ku……………….. (Greetings to you all, my colleagues are over there, and we are here to conduct a socio-economic study in respect of an ongoing housing estate project in your community)”.

Prior to our arrival, I had already intimated my male associates that my focal respondents will be women, and also expressed my dissatisfaction with one of the questions in the socio-economic survey questionnaire. Question 39, which came up under the sub-section on employment status read, “Is your wife working? Yes/No”. This question raised a number of concerns on my mind and I queried its purpose.

I perceived that the person who designed the questionnaire, meant to be administered to household heads assumed that it was only men who held that position in a home; else it would have read “Is your partner working?” More so, I believe every woman is employed, it’s just that there are so many who are unpaid and unwaged; particularly full time housewives.

In the cause of the study, among other women, I met Rifikatu- a widow, farmer and landlady; and Mama Twins who shares a joint account with her husband from which they drew savings which they used to build their house. I also met Mama Boss who told me the story of how as a newly wedded bride, she contributed in no small measure to the construction of the house she now resides in with her husband and children.

She told me of how in her pregnant state, she would climb the Pape hills to fetch water for the construction of their home, and also contributed monies which she earned from her trading and tailoring businesses. In her own case, Mama Ajunwa is a full time house wife saddled with the traditional responsibility of tending the children, sourcing water and fuel-wood; while also giving her best to support her husband who is working towards building their own house.

Women’s voices are undoubtedly underrepresented in environmental studies and actions, yet they are nature’s natural nurturers and humankind’s producers, reproducers and promoters. The stories of these women gives credence to why women should be consulted and respected in determining the direction of environmental progammes and natural resource use aimed at ameliorating living conditions

EIA and Socio-economic surveys offer opportunities for women to actively participate in decision-making in the environmental sector, but time and time again, women are confronted with attitudes, methodologies and systems, that overlook or undermine their position and roles. Environmental studies and programmes are located and operated within strongly sexist and patriarchal settings.

As an environmental professional/practitioner and activist, I have concerns that Nigerian women typically lack input and influence over decisions that affect their everyday lives. Women are yet to gain influence in the environmental sector and that is why I continue in my drive towards making women’s voices heard.

Consequently, the VOF Correspondent opportunity will be used to inspire and mobilize women, and get them more informed and less vulnerable to the impact of environmental challenges. The avenue will be used to foster women’s representation, leadership and participation; and to also turn around the general prejudicial problems that militate against women’s participation in environmental protection and management. Together, women can crush or bridge the gender divide in the environmental sector.

Downloads

Comments

Stacey Rozen's picture

I admire your unwavering

I admire your unwavering intent on teaching us all to live 'eco-friendly'. Every woman you teach makes our world better for her children. Don't ever stop!
PS: Do you speak on solar energy too?

Creatively,
Stacey

Greengirl's picture

Thank you so Much Stacey!

You will agree with me that environmental issues are complex and global; and there are heightened concerns about how we can reverse, control or stop these trends. Sadly,however, is the reality that women remain sidelined, uninformed and ill-equipped to respond to current challenges.

We can no longer sit back and watch, and that is why I envision the creation of a ground breaking and revolutionary frontier of access to global ecological information, education and alliance for women. I particularly agree with you that women can make our world better for the present and future generation, and those words mean a lot to me.

As regards if I also speak on solar energy, the answer is yes, though I haven't focused much of my writings on that. I have certified expertise in solar energy cooking and heating. Since you raised the issue, I will definitely make out time to focus some of my writings on that.

Thank you so much for talking the talk with me and also encouraging me to keep walking the talk.

Greengirl

Stacey Rozen's picture

I totally agree with your

I totally agree with your view. Do you know of Solar Sister? They are doing amazing work with women. Check out their site: www.solarsister.org/

Creatively,
Stacey

Greengirl's picture

Grateful to you,

I will check out the link and also get back to you.

Greengirl.

Sharontina's picture

Graceful

Graceful pictures my dear Greengirl, you always rock and am not much surprised to see the commitment and depth in your writing because i feel that is one quality that is born with you. Go ahead, these challenges cannot overcome your voice.

Much love

Merlin Sharontina

Greengirl's picture

Hello Lovely Sister

You make my world go round with your unflinching support and words of encouragement. It is forever strengthening to find women who understand and appreciate my passion for environmental sustainability. I am so, so unrepentantly green and I just can't help it because there is so much work to be done to get all hands on deck towards protecting and sustainably managing our Ecosystem.

Thank you for being a great source of encouragement!

Hugs and love to you.
Greengirl.

Taha Mirani's picture

Powerful

Dear Greengirl,

Loved the post. Th journey has already begun. God help you achieve your goals.

Blessings from this side :)

Love

Taha Mirani

Taha Mirani's picture

Powerful

Dear Greengirl,

Loved the post. The journey has already begun. God help you achieve your goals.

Blessings from this side :)

Love

Taha Mirani

Greengirl's picture

Hello Taha

You are simply amazing and it gladdens my heart that you found the post and loved it too. As for your prayers, it is a precious gift I will live to cherish. It will always remind me of your support!
God bless you real good and much love to you!

Greengirl.

Vweta's picture

Well done Greengirl! This

Well done Greengirl!

This story reminds me of a post i read on facebook some time ago, about unpaid workaholics - women. We are often under appreciated and our efforts towards creating a stable home and society often goes un-noticed.

More grease to your elbows sister.

Love.

Our Voices make the WORLD PULSate...
Vweta.

Greengirl's picture

Hello Sister

Thank you for making out time to read the post and for the links you shared. It is nice to know that the story resonated with what you are already aware of. I will check both links.

Gratefully,

Greengirl

William's picture

Is your wife working?

Hello Greengirl, thank you for sharing your article about teaching and empowering women. You have many good ideas and the courage/commitment to complete your dream. I encourage you to continue to expand your program and thoughts with other women in Nigeria. Blessings.

Greengirl's picture

Thanks William!

It gladdens my heart that you understand my passion for teaching and empowering women. Thank you so much for your very kind words of encouragement. Be assured that I will keep pressing on for change.I am encouraged!

Greengirl.

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi

Hi Olanike,

Great article. I marvel at how important you are in helping women and your society make positive changes. It was informative and so heartfelt. I made a copy of each picture (each 8x10) to put in my home.

Keep up the great work,

<3
Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Greengirl's picture

Haha!!!!!!

Thank you so much Mama Wendy. I sincerely appreciate your very kind words and I am encouraged to keep pressing on. I feel very honored too, by your thoughtfulness about having my pictures in your home. I am short of words! However, I want you to know that you are one person I really look forward to meeting in real time' I know it will happen!

My best and a million hugs to you,
Greengirl (BBG)

Greengirl ~

What powerful work! You are in the midst of creating a better way of assessing the value of women's work in Nigeria.
I love your image of "crushing or bridging the gender divide" ~ If it's a wall, reduce it to rubble; if it's a canyon, build a bridge.

The pictures clearly show the power of women together.

All the best with your work!

Hesychia

Greengirl's picture

Dear Hesychia

Thank you, thank you and thank you for reaching out. Yes, I know you heard me and your comment made me proud to be "ME"; and thank you once again for helping me to further realize that the cause I stand for and believe in is worth the while.I will keep your words to heart: "If it's a wall, reduce it to rubble; if it's a canyon, build a bridge"; because these words will always remind me that the wall of gender discrimination can be crushed and the canyon of of gender disparity can be bridged. Together we can!

Greengirl.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women&#039;s Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative