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2007.03.21
* Literacy empowers women in northern Nigeria * March 19, 20 It's a quiet Sunday in this Muslim community of Katsina, a northern State in Nigeria. While students at this primary school enjoy their day off, these mothers are busy learning how to read and write, many, for the first time in their lives. 45-year-old Hadiza Adamu was married at age 13. And she never had the chance to go to school. Having missed out on schooling for so many years, she now appreciates education and values it above anything else. Soundbite (Hausa), Hadiza Adamu, 45: “I feel like I’ve been cheated. That’s why I am now making sure that my children go to school daily. I also encourage my neighbours to send their children to school. Considering the importance of education, I would not like anyone close to me to lose out on it. Without it, development is not possible.” At home Hadiza shares household responsibility with her husband’s other wife. Her two children, 13-year-old Alawiyyah and 8-year-old Yusuf go to the same school where Hadiza attends her adult literacy class. Soundbite (Hausa), Adamu Sani, husband of Hadiza: “In the past, many women were not interested in literacy. But now, they are showing interest. They study their books until they fall asleep at night. Through reading, I have also noticed that their cooking has improved, as well as their personal hygiene.” Hadiza is also actively involved in her community’s school-based management committee. It is the first time in the village history that women are allowed to participate in the same forum as men. With their persistent efforts, children working during school hours has been banned by many communities, ensuring all children, especially girls, stay focused on their school. With a $50 million dollar funding committed by the UK, UNICEF and its government partners have been able to empower many women throughout northern Nigeria. Because of this, mothers like Hadiza are now finding a voice in their society and becoming a driving force to create a brighter future for their children. In Katsina, Northern Nigeria, this is Kun Li reporting for UNICEF Television. United for children.
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