Lady Mechanic Initiative In NigeriaBy Kate | Permalink | 1 comment | February 24th, 2007 | Trackback
Yahoo news and The Christian Science Monitor report on the Lady Mechanic Initiative in Nigeria, which trains disadvantaged and/or vulnerable women to become mechanics. Trainees receive $25/month while they learn, but start making a salary soon after. In Nigeria, much of the population lives on less than $2 a day; mechanics can earn $250 per month or more.
Founder Sandra Aguebor is quoted as saying “When I see a woman and her car has broken down and she looking at it as if it is a cooking pot in the kitchen - I get so angry!” After stopping numerous times to help women whose cars had broken down in dangerous areas, and a trip to the US where she saw women working as mechanics, she was inspired. Since the year 2000, she has trained nearly 70 women.
“Nigeria has a strong educated elite from which numerous women have risen to positions of power and success in business, and, since the end of military rule in 1999, they have increasingly made their mark in politics, too.” But for those not fortunate enough to be part of the elite, their employment and earning prospects are limited to work more commonly considered “women’s work”, which, as in many countries, is not valued or paid as highly as “men’s”.
Many of Aguebor’s trainees had dropped out of school and some had worked as prostitutes. Another target group is deportees from abroad who would like to integrate back into society. This initiative has received support from South African communications company MTN as well as several Nigerian individuals, US oil company Chevron, and the Dutch government-sponsored health organization Hygeia Nigeria Limited.
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