Kismayu somali women are now venturing into the construction industry in large numbers in what was largely perceived in the past as a male exclusive job in the past.
The women have defied odds and are now reaping from the construction works giving many men a stiff competition in the male dominated industry.
The construction industry in Kismayu has in the recent past been booming and this created an opportunity for the women who are mainly reduced to house chores to join the industry in droves.
This equal access to opportunities has given many women in Kismayu a chance to feel empowered and confident as many rebuked the women involvement in male work in the past, a norm that is now changing and earning many women a great deal of income.
Many of the women ventured into the construction work to earn a living so as to sustain their family livelihoods.
Fatuma Khalif is one of the women working in the Kismayu construction industry like many other women, Fatuma Khalif said she got into the construction work to fend for her family after returning to Somalia in 2017 from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp. She is the sole breadwinner and manages to get 5 Dollars daily to uplift her family livelihoods.
” I have 8 kids who all depend on me for a living and getting 5 Dollars a day is better for me than nothing, I never had a job before but after consideration, I thought of throwing myself into this kind of work because I didn’t have a choice since am the only one who goes out everyday for the kids after the demise of their father”, Said Fatuma Khalif
Hamdi Hassan who is a woman working in construction work in Kismayu said she was forced into the male-dominated work by abject poverty and life hardships thus deciding to turn her life around.
” I used to look for a job I can do but after being without work for a year and nothing was forthcoming, I decided to take up this construction work and now am thankful am earning something unlike before “,Said Hamdi Hassan
But despite the hardwork the women put into the construction work, many of them opt to drop out after a while.
Deeq Jubin Aden who is a male construction worker said many women try out well in the beginning but find it hard to continue after being faced with lots of challenges.
” its great to have our women working with us in the construction work and it really gives us morale but after few days of challenges here and there, they leave and never come back to work” , Said Deeq Jubin
A number of women are still actively involved in the construction works in Kismayu and other parts in Somalia, an trend that is Now getting popularity among the women in the Horn of Africa nation.
BY OSMAN HUSSEIN ALI