Women in Umuekwule Ugwaku
Women in Nigeria are at the heart of development as they are the major working power for most of the non-monetary economy such as agriculture and domestic labor. They play an important role as they work both in the home and outside the home.
However the women in Umuekwule Ugwaku –which is located n eastern Nigeria – provide the larger part of the working class, and although they have the responsibility of the households, these women are often form the most unendingly poor groups in the communities. In comparison men have higher social status and as a result have more access to schooling and training.
Over recent decades the number of men migrating from rural areas in search of employment has increased, and the number of households headed solely by women has grown substantially.
Habitually the women living in Umuekwule Ugwaku struggle to secure their rights to land ownership after a death husband. To meet their needs, widows are depended on the small piece of land they previously farmed together with their late husbands. But just months after the passing away of the husband, the in-laws usually take control of the land without the widows knowledge. This situation leaves the women in the community under poverty.
In Umuekwule Ugwaku, only one primary school and two secondary schools serve an estimated population of 12,000 people. Children have to travel long distances to attend the school. Girls in Umuekwule Ugwaku are married off at early age and the parents do not see educating of their daughters as a necessity. Due to low economical condition of the families, most of the school children are forced to work at the farms even during the school hours.
Net Educational Advancement Initiative has started supporting a group of women through micro finance. 14 women who are in poor living condition are selected; these women have their own business ideas and are in need of financial support to initiate their business.
Facts about Nigeria and the Schoolsystem
- Pupil / teacher ratio (primary), 2007: 46
- Percentage of children primary school-age who are out-of-school, 2007: 37
- Percentage of population living on less than $2 a day, 2004: 84
- Youth (15-24 years) literacy rate, percentage, 2004-2008, male: 78
- Youth (15-24 years) literacy rate, percentage, 2004-2008, female: 65
- Primary school enrolment ratio, 2005-2009, net, male: 64
- Primary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009, net, female: 58
The number of children out of school has been rising in Nigeria. In 2007, 1 million more children were out of school compared to 1999. Most of them are girls, demonstrating a considerable gender gap in the access to edcuation. Although poverty is on the decline, the progress towards eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is slow. And according to UNICEF, the country’s education system has long been neglected, in part because of decaying institutional infrastructure. Thus, e-learning can offer unique possibilities for positive change. Our local partner in Nigeria is NEAI (Net Educational Advancement Initiative), established in 2010 and registered as an NGO in Nigeria. The aim of the organization is to enhance the educational well-being of the less privileged in rural communities, in order to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal of education for all. Part of their main activities also include vocational training programmes and training of health workers, as well as empowering women and young people through microfinance. Sharing Awareness is proud to support the continuos efforts of enhancing the quality of education and the participation of youth in Nigeria, at a grassroots level. Website link: http://nigeria.mkfc.se/