Spotlight on Rape

First-hand encounter of women only village - Umoja

Umoja, a village in Kenya, is a women only village where men are not allowed at all. It is a safe haven for women escaping child marriage, domestic violence and rape.

The village was founded in 1990 by Rebecca Lolosoli, a Samburu woman who also lived under constant fear of being beaten or even killed for talking to women about their rights.

Pippa Hudson spoke to Julie Bindel, a freelance journalist and political activist in the UK, as well as the founder of the British organization, Justice for Women.

Bindel visited the village last year and wrote an article for The Guardian about her journey.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Bindel says she first heard about Umoja in the late 1990's when she was organising an international conference on violence against women.

When doing her research over the internet she realised that all the writings were second hand.

She made a decision to travel all the way to Kenya to give a first hand description of the village.

She says it was an amazing experience.

What I found was a group of women who have risen above every single obstacle in their way but legally, socially, culturally and politically they were enduring the worst excessive form of patriarchy...

Julie Bindel, a freelance journalist and political activist in the UK

And those women, some have been raped by the British soldiers stationed in Nairobi, Kenya when they were preparing to go to war

Julie Bindel, a freelance journalist and political activist in the UK

According to Bindel, the shame fell on women and children who were raped by the British soldier and not the soldiers themselves.

Their fathers and the authorities did nothing to help them, instead they were punished even further and thrown out of the village. This is what led to these women initiating the Umoja village.


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