They said within Islamic
Sharia, women have to veil themselves and stay at home
and so on and so forth Should I have veiled myself for them? Whenever they would ask me to do so, I would
hide away, until I began to cut my hair bold I named myself Abdul Hakam It was such a name! They used to come and ask about Hikmat and they would be
told that “we don`t have a Hikmat, we have Abdul Kakam”, Then the Investigations Officers would
say that they didn`t want him Later on, they began to see me on TV and
newspapers and they were astonished It was a name of…. a name for the street I named myself the street,
and the workshop too I learnt this trade from my uncle I remember that was a long time ago I was in 4th grade at primary school I used to disassemble the motorbike,
repair the tires and the wires I used to look and imitate the way he worked, and
he thought that I might lose interest in school I waited for him to do all the work Eventually, he began to rebuke me, telling me not to
come and look at him while working on the motorbike He did not want me to leave school I told him “No no, I will study and after that,” “I will try to work” He said “No problem” “when you study and succeed”, he told me “After that, I will teach you how to work” Thereafter, I succeeded and entered intermediate school And from Intermediate school, I told him
that I wouldn`t go further to high school I wanted to learn Mechanics He found that I had keen interest in Mechanics Soon after, he began to test me in certain things He found that I began to understand, little by little. When I embarked on the work, I really
found myself providing for the family They even favored me more than
my brothers, thanks to God You know! I stood by my family sincerely In fact, I have facilitated wedding of one of them
and I have also supported the education of another And thanks to God, the men are envious of me They say, “You have taken the
motorbike to Hikmat the woman!” They tell them “Yes”, and they laugh They laugh of course, and tell them
that “This woman is better than you” I have worked for them too, but as Abdul Hakam I used to sit among them They would tell me that there is a woman around,
but “if we find her, we will arrest her!” That had been me in person! So far, there have been assistants; I swear to God those people… Currently, there
are lieutenants, I have known earlier, Whenever they see me, They say, “Hikmat!
OH my God…” “You have really mystified us”
“You have made us confused” I swear to God, everything is easy, it is about earning living “The woman must have determination and persistence”.
“The woman must have determination and persistence” A woman should be 100% self-confident –
thereafter, she will not face any problem. As for carpentry, it is possible for her to stay with us and
work at home, but the work in food selling (Taamiya) She stays away from us Most of her time is for Taamiya which involves sitting on the streets The Kasha people are always after her Sometimes, she comes home tired. Once, while she was coming from
work, she slipped and fell down Her leg got dislocated Many problems have happened I work in carpentry to learn To be able to work and benefit from that There is no Kasha here,
it is better than Taamiya This is my mother sitting with me I am also participating and working with her If I miss something, she explains it to me I can also have an opportunity to be with her All of us have experienced and known
what has been going on in this country That is why women must exert effort To find alternatives for themselves Because, as being said Just one source is no longer enough The difference is in the understanding
of the society, in the first place it is not about that women are not able to work It is about our mind-set in Sudan where we assume
that women have to refrain from certain things; It is a problem in the understanding
more than in the women themselves. We can change this perception through, for
example, the women who are working with me here When they (the women) graduate and present their
works and say that this is the work of group X All these are women, and they have achieved this work Gradually, I and two, three, or four others
can gradually make change in the society Similarly, since the society has
changed so many things; over time we will be able to change
the perception of the society. I left school after the 3rd class examination at high school I chose science particularly, the biology course I got a low percentage, the conditions were not conducive
and I could not return to school to repeat examinations So I stayed at home Then, I heard about the SIHA program and I applied for it I enrolled in the General Electricity
course, so I started working The first person to reject the idea was my father He wondered how a girl can stand in front
of men and perform the same tasks as them Nevertheless, I insisted on working I told him that the current times are very difficult We all must take care of ourselves So, I told him that I will go and try my
best at the work, and then I will decide He told me that I was going to bring the
certificate, but what would I do with it? I told him that I may be progressive with the certificate Yes, he is my father! He asked me if I had
ever heard about a girl doing electric work, and I responded that the situation is very familiar My father is an Agricultural Engineer
and my mother sells tea near our house I do not like the tea-selling job because there are
men that come to harrass one on the job This is why I totally refuse to work as a tea-seller I am unhappy because I could not finish my education Currently, in my work in electricity,
people have, and continue to provoke me Everyone, including my brothers degrade me exclaiming
how I am girl and I cannot perform Electric work That is the unfortunate part of this whole issue I am proving this to myself by doing electric connections
at home and hopefully, that will convince him too I have to connect everything else where for him to convince
him that I have learnt the work – God willing This way, I will be able to step forward The most important thing is the persistence One has to be persistent in everything They say “It is a man’s job!” “What brought you in?” “You will not be able to do it” During the period of my study,
I used to hear such things “You will learn, but you will not work!” “You will just keep the certificate in vain” However, there is no job that classifies people by who can work The one who has done is breaking the stereotype The who who is able to work Breaking the stereotype of women`s work? Actually, when a woman works in fields that
people consider as linked to certain genders when you undertake such jobs, it
means that you are breaking the stereotype for example, in the field
of Air-conditioning and Cooling Girls are not familiar with the
Air-conditioning and Cooling field The fields of Mechanics and Electricity
are known to be not for girls When a girl takes part in them,
she has broken the stereotype because they are not basically
there only for them Those trades are not for men alone There is no mention that such trades are for men
alone, or that women are not able to do them If women were not able to do them, then
they would fail at the very beginning Not even the few of us would be able to enroll Although we are few, but we have enrolled Women are able I have my female-colleagues who are
currently working in workshops They have been able to break this stereotype They are working in workshops In Mechanics, General
Electricity and others If they were able to enter the field,
it means the field is open to all

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *