2011-2012 Nigeria BRPID Project

Nigeria BRPID Project

Empowering Illiterate Benue Women of Nigeria through Hair Making

Nigeria-hairbraiding-projectEconomic barriers to education and empowerment give women a low status in society and affect their participation in politics and the decision-making process.

This project led by the Nigeria Association of University Women (NAUW) seeks to empower 50 selected illiterate women aged from 24 to 40 years old who have developed hair dressing skills but lack the financial resources to practice effectively. The Association will provide participants with equipment and a one-week training session. It will also monitor them during the development of the project and help those open savings accounts to ensure sustainability. The objectives are: to make the women economically independent and create a sense of pride and belonging in the household and society. In the long term the project also aims to provide opportunities for them to continue their education and become fully literate.

So far 43 women have received training and mastered basic hair dressing skills. They have also been helped to their own open bank accounts. This is the first time that any of these women have had a bank account or have had responsibility for their own finances. Although many were initially wary due to ignorance, there is a growing sense of self-esteem and financial independence within the group. NAUW continues to give help with basic accounting and providing advice on saving.

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