Feminism: A conversation about Equity and Gender Justice
Right to vote and stand for office had been given to European women in Kenya in 1919; in 1956, those rights were extended to African men and women under certain conditions related to educational level and property ownership. Would we say it is also unafrican for a woman to own land? Even though the estimated ratio of women to men is 1:1, only 5% of land title deeds in Kenya are held by women jointly with men. Only 1 percent of land titles in Kenya are held by women alone. Why?
The word “feminist” has grown to be one of the most sensitive expressions of our time this part of the world, almost like religion. The conversation on equal economic, social, and political rights for all creates tempestuous frenzy amongst Kenyans despite the fact that our Constitution clarifies all there is to know about this.
Patriarchy, Religion, and Classism:
In reality, our cultures are still deeply patriarchal; religion and classism enormously contribute to prevailing gender injustices for both men and women. But why do many men find it difficult to join in the movement of women’s rights? Is it ignorance, fear, or the way the idea is presented to them?
Is it possible to create a language of talking about feminism in a way it can part of national dialogue as opposed to a women’s issue? Does the word “feminism” exist in your indigenous tribe? Do you believe in gender roles; that men and women have their place in society and each gender should stick to its lane? Do you think men and women can be equal? Can you be a feminist?
Where Expression and Gender Parity meets Fatuma’s Voice:
Fatuma’s Voice aims to break silence and encourage expression. One of the root causes of self censorship and apathy is Gender inequality and Patriarchy that further supports stereotypes and discrimination towards women and the other gender identities. Systematic manipulation through social institutions like Education, Politics, and Mass media, is used to maintain this status quo. People lose trust and develop a culture of self-imposed silence.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right but it is still challenging for girls and women to access education, employment and political representation. As a result, women in Kenya are still not receiving equal pay for work of equal value . They are mostly the victims of rape, violence, sex slavery, poor parliamentary representation and child marriage. A defective education system worsens the situation by perpetuating gender stereotypes and forcing people to occupy socially constructed gender roles.
Why Fatuma’s Voice and reasons to join the conversation about Feminism:
We intentionally gave Fatuma’s Voice the name Fatuma, which is associated with the female gender. This was a statement in acknowledgment of the gender gap that builds up social, political and economic barriers to change. Participating in conversations like this one on Feminism are ways for you to break this silence. Join us this Friday, at the Memorial Park from 5:00 pm.