I Speak 4 Myself Volume I

As feminists, our biggest challenge is and has always been the gender norms enforced by religion, cultural traditions, families, law makers and enforcers. The patriarchal setting continues to oppress women through the negative gender norms like teaching young girls that they are inferior to men, some cultures even go ahead to preach sexual practices and habits that completely disregard the concept of consent for example the Batooro say “omusaijja tayangwa” a statement which not only puts the man as the primary beneficiary but also indicates that the woman has no right to say no to a man’s advances.

Other tribes like the Baganda have female mutilation practices that are said to prepare young girls usually before the age of 12 for marriage, such practices have been known to lead under aged girls in sexual acts leading to the sky rocketing number of school dropouts. What is even worse is the fact that girls are not given a chance to say no because in most cases families do this thinking, they are doing it for marital (husband’s) benefits.

Girls are also majorly encouraged to have marriage as their biggest aspiration and a woman’s success is measured on the basis of marriage and children while boys are told to push for the stars. Such doctrines train girls that they are inferior to boys.

Find the full story by Michu Shams on page 28 of the #ISpeak4Myself Creative Collection (volume 1)

Click here to read the messages by the girls and young women during the #I Speak4Myself campaign. For more information on how FEMNET collaborates with Girls and Young women via the She Leads project and #ISpeak4Myself campaign email Esther Nyawira via e.nyawira@femnet.or.ke  and Muthoki Nzioka via p.nzioka@femnet.or.ke

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