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Somalia's first female mechanic: Meet 18-year-old Nasra Haji

Somalia's first female mechanic: Meet 18-year-old Nasra Haji

Somalia

When Nasra Haji Hussein left home two years ago in search of a job in Mogadishu, working as a mechanic was not among the options she had in mind.

The 18-year-old comes from Hiran, about 300 kilometers from Somalia’s capital. After a ten-day journey Nasra arrived in Mogadishu to stay with a relative.

She spent several months job hunting and eventually approached mechanics at the service garage where she found an opportunity to serve as an apprentice.

I repair different types of cars, luxury cars, bullet proof cars and pickups. Sometimes I service trucks when they are brought to the garage.

Nasra has been ridiculed and discouraged by many, but she says over time she has managed to build a regular customer base in a country where jobs are scarce.

“I repair different types of cars, luxury cars, bullet proof cars and pickups. Sometimes I service trucks when they are brought to the garage,” Nasra said.

For many youth, getting a solid education or even finding a job is difficult with the economic and security challenges Somalia continues to face as the country rebuilds.

Working in what is traditionally seen as a male domain, Nasra says at first she was ridiculed and chided for taking up the job, but over time she began to win customers.

By challenging gender stereotypes in a country with limited opportunities, Nasra has been able to acquire new skills and build a career. A the same time she has improved her family life.

Reuters

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