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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights
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Breaking new ground for women

Breaking new ground for women

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

One of the partners in the program is the Somali organization GAVO. Based in Somaliland, GAVO was formed by young people concerned with the plight of the most vulnerable people in their communities the disabled, orphans, and the elderly. Ayan Mowliid Ibrahim is a staff member and former GAVO student. This is her story.


`At the beginning I was studying computer skills with GAVO when they started advertising for electrician training. I decided to apply because I wanted to learn whatever I could. I wasn’t nervous or scared. At the beginning the boys in my class were surprised but afterwards they got used to it.

As soon as I finished the course I started teaching in GAVO’s vocational training centre. At first, the students were surprised to have a female teacher. A couple of the boys went to the Executive Director of GAVO to ask whether they were going to learn electrical skills from a woman. The Executive Director said yes and that I was fully qualified to teach the course. Now the students are used to being taught by a woman. They even treat me better than the other teachers.

I also use the class to teach students about history, culture, religion, math, human rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. These students don’t have a secondary education and some don’t even have primary school. I’m doing this to let other people know that it’s not only a man’s job. I was scared that people might treat me differently but instead people accept me and respect me. So far I’ve taught 6 girls how to be electricians.

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