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Somaliland: Footprints of rare female engineers

Somaliland: Footprints of rare female engineers


Engineering is perhaps one of the professions that has maintained its male dominance over the decades.

For many, especially in Africa, it is just one of those careers that hasn’t truly shaken off the ‘male-female’ divide.

In Somaliland however, two young women: Naima Faisal Mohamud and Nimco Mohamed Ibrahim are pushing the gender boundary to its seams and debunking the perception that engineering is an exclusive preserve of men.

They are both Civil Engineers attached to the Roads Development Agency in Hargeisa.

“I was told that it will be difficult for a woman to find a job in the engineering sector. I was even mocked to go and change my faculty. Rather than have this discourage me, it spurred me on,” female civil engineer, Naima Faisal Mohamud said.

In sharp contrast to Naima, Nimco’s choice has both been shaped by the grooming she received in science and mathematics from her alma mater: the Ubay Binu Ka’ab Secondary School in Borome and her get-up-and-go attitude.

Behind the career choice of these two women, is the passion they have for engineering as individuals.

“What encouraged me to learn engineering are my parents who have always provided for all expenses and advice I needed. I am sad that my mother who I love very much is no more here to witness what I have become today,” Nimco Mohamed Ibrahim said.

But behind the career choice of these two women engineers is a passion that characterises their individual personalities.

Indeed, the residents of communities linked by the roads and bridges which these women engineers help to build are more than appreciative of their contribution.

Hudisa is one of such communities. Here, fruit sellers and other traders take advantage of their proximity to the main road and stop-overs by commercial buses to hawk their wares to travellers