HAVE YOU HEARD OF UMOJA, A WOMEN’S ONLY VILLAGE IN KENYA?
Patriarchy has been the ruling system for as long as life has existed, and this means social power is given to the men of the community.
Unfortunately for men and perpetuators of patriarchy, women are not having any more of this such as the group of women in Kenya who in the bid to reject patriarchy, formed Umoja, a women’s only village.
Umoja was founded in 1990 by Rebecca Lolosoli after being assaulted by her husband and other the men in her village, Samburu. She was beaten and battered for speaking out and demanding justice when British soldiers raped other women in the village. Knowing that the world would be a better place without men, Lolosoli escaped and founded a village with a group of 15 other women.
The name “Umoja” is Swahili for “united”, and the principal aim of the village is to provide a safe haven for women who are trying to escape sexual violence or female genital mutilation. Their primary source of income is the sale of jewellery, which is a business the women have managed to maintain despite frequent ambushes from men in nearby villages. Some of the men attack them for personal reasons, while others just don’t want women to have nice things without them.
The women of Umoja have since inspired several other villages, Nachami and Supalake, however things aren’t quite as cutthroat in these places. In Nachami there are men allowed in, but only if they reject traditional patriarchy, while in Supalake, men and women co exist, however the women have overriding power in the running the village. You go girls!!!
To everyone who is of the opinion that feminism is ‘not African’ and it’s something we’ve learnt from the western world: you should stop giving white people so much credit because these rural women are the definition of feminism!
Check out this documentary on the Umoja women here:
Culled from konbini.com
March 23, 2018
March 23, 2018