Umoja: The African Village Where Men Are Banned

An African village is offering local women fleeing sexual violence and abusive relationships a safe haven where men are not allowed.
Source: Georgina Goodwin
Scroll down to watch the video

In one Kenyan town, there’s no founding father, but there’s a founding mother:

Rebecca Lolosoli was born into the Samburu tribe, based about six hours away from Nairobi. She attended primary school as a girl. She even starting a course at a Catholic nursing school before having to drop out due to lack of payment. She was married at 18 to a decent man who gave her parents 17 cows as a dowry.

She was undeterred in her convictions:

He wasn’t a bad husband, she later said, but he wasn’t thrilled with her independent and entrepreneurial spirit. She started selling items in the village to try to earn some extra money and four men there didn’t like it.

They beat her and took her money. Her husband didn’t do anything. She was undeterred. She began speaking out about women having the right to safety and protection and to not be raped.

Source: Georgina Goodwin

That really angered the men – the next time her husband was out of town, she was severely beaten, so badly she had to be hospitalized.

When he learned that she’d been beaten, he said nothing:

Still, that was not enough to stop her from what she felt was important work. Her parents reminded her that she needed to go home to her husband after she was released from the hospital.When he learned that she’d been beaten, he said nothing.

“The problem is Samburu women have no rights – no right to own livestock or land, to go to school, even to choose a husband,” she later said.