up close of woman in pink headscarf

#SheInspiresMe: Maryam from Nigeria

It takes a lot of courage to advocate for yourself and your dreams. Maryam was inspired to return to school and become a teacher after enrolling in the WfWI program.

Maryam Umar

Although she finished primary and secondary school before marrying and having two children, Maryam didn’t know much about her rights until she enrolled in the WfWI training program in 2013.

“I never knew that women have rights,” Maryam explains. “Knowing my rights helped me understand that women can be involved in public life and help their communities.” It also helped her understand how she can protect her children from rape and other kinds of violence.

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Everything she learned in the program helped Maryam, at age 27, persuade her husband to let her continue her education. “He had refused to allow me to go back to school,” she says. “But after my life skills training I was able to convince him. Now I am in school to earn my National Certificate of Education and become a teacher someday.”

“I feel it is very important to invest in more women,” Maryam explains. “Because as the saying goes, ‘if you educate a woman you educate the community.’”

Check out our #SheInspiresMe page for more stories about inspiring women around the world.