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Abuja housewives sustain family with menial jobs

Still, some women engage themselves in other forms of economic activities such as trading and menial jobs, all with a view to making ends meet…

Still, some women engage themselves in other forms of economic activities such as trading and menial jobs, all with a view to making ends meet in their families.
Aso Chronicle caught up with some women living in the suburbs of Abuja, who make ends meet through menial jobs. They told our reporter how they raise money to operate their business to help themselves in the face of bad economic conditions.
Linda Moses, one of the traders, who resides in Kuje and sells vegetable leaves popularly called Ugwu leaves at the market, said her trade, though not lucrative, gives her enough to feed her family.
“When I manage to sell all the Ugwu leaves, I have just enough to feed my family for the day, there is no leftover for savings,” she added.
Linda said she sells Ugwu because of her inability to get a better trade, adding that she is willing to dump selling Ugwu for a lucrative trade.
Another trader, who does not want her name in print, said most women known to her are the low-income traders who have gone through a lot in order to keep their homes.
She said she was once a full- time housewife and every time her husband got a bad day, he asked her to find a job.
“He would come and say things that are really hurtful to me like I should go and find a trade and stop eating all the food at home.
“That was when one of my neighbours advised me to start selling at the market. I had N3,000 and she helped me with N2,000 more, and that was what I used to start selling these tomatoes,” she said.
She said she lives in Gwagwalada and goes to three different markets every week, “The market days for Gwagwalada comes around after every four days and that of Kuje comes a day after every Gwagwalada market’s day, while Gosa Market is fixed for every Friday,” she explained.
She said that high transport fares and the difficulties of transporting perishable goods from one market to another affect her business.
“There are days that I make profit but there are days I don’t, which can be frustrating. But I must work hard to make sure I contribute my quota at home,” she added.
Another housewife, who simply referred to herself as Maman Rashida, sells yam in Gwagwalada Market, but now braids hair at University of Abuja mini campus. She said most of the female traders at the markets prioritise family above other things.
“We make sure we support the family with the little we make. When I was selling yam, I would go to the three markets on the different market days and I used the income to provide food while my husband pays for the school fees of the kids and house rent. If I remain at home, the burden will be too much for him to bear,” she said.
She added that most of these women do not want to solely depend on their husbands, as such they strive to contribute their quota to the running of the family.
She said, however, that for some of the women, it is not just about the money, but also about them getting up every day and having something to do.
“We try to empower ourselves and not just to keep asking and demanding from our husbands, and we don’t want to be idle,” she added.
Maman Rashida said braiding is more lucrative than selling yam, adding that the fixed price for braiding hair is N300 and there are days she braids up to five people.
She also advised women to rise up and find source of income and not sit at home and depend on their husbands for everything.
 According to her, even those whose husbands do not want them to work should learn a trade because nobody knows what the future holds.

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