Tuesday, August 18, 2015

PHOTO: SEE Place where Men banned from village for 25 years

Men banned from village for 25 years2The village was set up in 1990 (Picture: Getty Images)

A village in Kenya has been a man-free zone for the last 25 years.

The residents of Umoja are survivors of terrible assaults inflicted by a patriarchal society, including rape, forced child marriage, domestic violence and female genital mutilation (FGM).

But since 1990 the settlement near Samburu has acted as sanctuary for the abused and is still going strong, with 247 woman and children currently living there.

Seita Lengima, a senior figure at the refuge, founded by 15 women who’d allegedly......
survived being raped by soldiers, stressed how important the unconventional village was as it celebrated its 25th anniversary.

‘Outside, women are being ruled by men so they can’t get any change,’ she told the Guardian.

‘The women in Umoja have freedom.’

That freedom has allowed them to become self-sufficient, with the residents selling jewellery and running a tourist campsite nearby.

And Umoja isn’t totally anti-male either, with the village allowing visitors from the opposite sex (but they’re not allowed to stay for too long).

Despite being subjected to threats and assaults by local men who are not happy with the settlement, they have remained defiant, fending off numerous attacks and threats by men.

The culture of the semi-nomadic villagers typically sees tribespeople cluster together in groups of around ten families. In Umoja, the 47 women live with 200 children.

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