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This year I completed the Master’s Degree in Gender and Equality at the University of Pablo de Olivade in Seville and when I had to choose a topic for my Final Project I did not hesitate to focus on a place that was already part of my life, Afrikable, and on the women I admire the most, the women of this project.

This paper focuses on assessing whether economic empowerment and the creation of women’s support networks are a good way out of violence against women. To that end, I have approached legislative reforms, finding out about the public resources women of this island have, pondering the role of ethnic, cultural or religious differences among the women who are part of the project, and listening to the strategies that women currently have to resist and extract themselves from situations of violence.

I could try to search the information online and fill the project with national and international official statistics, arguing that Kenya is ranked 135 out of 159 countries in the Gender Inequality Index published by the United Nations or claim that according to national statistics, more than 44 % of women suffer physical violence throughout their lives. But based on my way of looking at life, that project would be meaningless because it would lack its essence, which is to listen to the protagonists, the indigenous women in Lamu who suffer Male Violence and have been resisting it throughout history.

That is why, in the months of June and July, I have done a research study thanks to the opportunity Afrikable has given me to look for these answers. In this research study, I have done in-depth interviews with the women who are part of the project, interviews with the women who have coordinated it in the last years. I have learned first-hand about the existing public resources, both the judicial system and the health system, and I have also given talks on Women’s Rights and Male Violence to Afrikable workers, the latter also carried out with teenagers.

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Despite the challenge of going overseas and completely changing context, it has been really easy to approach them, talk to them, listen to them and learn from them, especially learn. I was very afraid to look like a coloniser 2.0 who dares to come here to say what is right and what is wrong based on my Western standards and according to the public resources in my country, which are not many, but do exist. But my aim was quite the opposite, I’ve come to Afrikable because I was a holidaymaker in 2015 and I had the pleasure to meet the heroines that give the project shape and meaning. I have come to gather their testimonies because I believe in the value they may have for many other women.

In the next entries I will try to share the findings of this research study, focusing especially on Education, on how the level of education influences marriage equality; on Work, on how pursuing a career gives women economic empowerment; and on Male Violence, both in my conclusions after the interviews and talks and on an special post on the Male Violence Talk.

I hope that it is successful in approaching these women’s reality, Afrikable’s protagonists. I take with me the experience of getting to know a different reality and sharing priceless moments with these women, their wisdom to resist the most difficult situations and their fighting spirit towards change.

 

Author: Ana Fernández | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Read 594 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 November 2017 18:48
Afrikable

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ABOUT AFRIKABLE

Afrikable is a Spanish charitable organisation, registered in the National Register of Associations under number 1/1/594088 and in the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID)'s Register of Non-Governmental Organisations under number 2033.

 

In Kenya our association is called Afrika Able Organization and is registered with Kenya's NGO Coordination Board under number 10976.

WHERE ARE WE

  • Lamu, Kenia.
    Madrid, Spain
  • +34 605 722 162