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The Village In Africa Where Men Are Banned, Should Men Be Banned Everywhere? - Opinion

In the northern Kenyan grasslands of Samburu, there is a village that is quite distinctive. For good reason, the village of Umoja, which means "unity" in Swahili, is surrounded by a thorn fence, and for good reason: men are not permitted. It's all about the women.

This settlement began as a safe haven for 15 women who had been raped and sexually assaulted by British soldiers in 1990. However, the village has expanded to provide a home, a livelihood, and a life to any and all women attempting to flee genital mutilation, sexual assault and rape, domestic violence, or child marriage.

 The Samburu people are semi-nomadic, largely polygamist, and closely related to the Maasai tribe. They are deeply rooted in patriarchy. Today, about 50 women in Umoja, along with about 200 children, have built a self-sustaining economy. Their lifestyle does not include frills, but the women and children do make a regular income to meet their basic requirements. When the boys attain the age of 18, they are required to leave the hamlet.

 Umoja's women maintain a campsite for safari tourists and charge visitors an entrance fee to enter the community. In the village's artisan center, the women manufacture colorful beaded necklaces, bangles, anklets, and other jewelry, which they sell. The elderly women also teach the younger ones about social conventions that they have avoided, such as female genital mutilation and forced abortions. They've also constructed a school on the Umoja women's land, which is open to the surrounding villages.

 The lives of these women are not lived in isolation. They visit neighboring villages, markets, and schools, but they've also managed to create a safe refuge where they can live a respectable life. Many women around the world would love to live like the women in this village, living in a place where there are no men and having the privilege of safety.

Content created and supplied by: All-About-Africa (via Opera News )

Africa Kenyan Samburu Swahili Umoja


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