Hivos East Africa

East Africa

Women's Empowerment

The Kenyan food system is broken. It’s a venal and extremely predatory system that is both ‘child and aide’ of the society that produced it, including our system of governance.

On 2 April 2018, I went to bed a very furious person. This was after I watched a clip where the Woman Representative of Kenya's Kiambu County, Gathoni Wa Muchomba, did what I consider unthinkable coming from a female leader. Not that I am completely surprised by her utterances. However, I was embarrassed at her lack of analysis and basic understanding of simple concepts such as patriarchy.

During the week of 8 March - International women's Day - Hivos is sharing stories of some of the amazing and powerful women we support worldwide. This year's theme is: “Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

The Samburu tribe is a proud cattle-keeping community in Kenya widely known for their colourful dress and cultural traditions. ‘Samburu’ means butterfly in English. Yet this fancy-free creature also describes a community where the women mostly stay at home, raise children and depend on their husband’s income to run the household.

Through the Women @ Work programme, Hivos and our local partners work together to improve the labour conditions for women working at international farms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Within this programme, we pay special attention to preventing gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS at the workplace as a means to increase women’s socioeconomic empowerment and wellbeing in general.

By Fauzia Mohammed

The question as to whether it is a permissive society, a blind eye by the community, an ill-bred culture or weak policies at institution level that has prompted sexual harassment incidences to sky rocketing numbers remains unanswered. Regrettably, sexually inappropriate remarks towards women at work places, educational centers and society at large have been normalized while the general public dismisses it as “men will always be men”.

There are a few critical moments in the lifespan of a grant-making programme: Those moments in which you need to press pause, contemplate the journey so far, and look back at your achievements and challenges. After one year of grant-making, filled with work on designing and refining four different types of calls for proposals, reviewing over 1000 grant applications from ten countries spread out in 3 regions, Voice needed a moment to reflect on whether we have actually been engaging with the right audiences.

4,000 female entrepreneurs bring renewable energy to over 2 million people

How do you get sustainable energy solutions for more than 2 million people in the most remote areas of Africa and Asia? And how do you make sure these solutions are really used? The answer is as brilliant as it is simple: appeal to the power of women. Since March 2016, the ENERGIA programme has been hosted by Hivos, and the results speak volumes. So Xenia Wassenbergh of Hivos’ People Unlimited Post sat down with two of the motors behind ENERGIA to find out more.

My father is from Nigeria. In 1967, a terrible civil war broke out in his region. Biafra wanted to proclaim it independence, to which the Nigerian state reacted with bloody slaughter and systematic starvation. Millions of Biafrans died, and images of malnourished children shocked the world.

Now that the 2017 elections are behind us (or so we assume), it is important to reflect on some of the issues emerging from the polls that are dear to us. One of those being women in leadership. Last year when the debate about the 2010 Constitution’s two thirds gender rule was so heated (“not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender”), we in the women’s movement reached a moment of despair. I actually wrote an article asking whether Kenya would ever be ready for women in political leadership.

Today, most African youth seems uninterested in working in the coffee sector as they see it as an "old man's" hobby. However, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) states that it is women who form the majority of the world’s estimated total of 25 million coffee farmers.

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