Feminist men advocating for women’s rights

My name is Aggry and though I am a male, I call myself a grassroots woman. I am a champion for the empowerment of women and increased female political participation and leadership here in Kakamega in the west of Kenya. For centuries, women have been denied their rights to own land, to enter politics, and to take on leadership roles.

I spend most of my time supporting women on issues related to land and property. In our culture, women are not allowed to inherit land – not even the house that they live in. If their husband dies, the women are often left having to fight against family to reclaim their land.

“Men, let’s give women the chance to thrive.”

I am grateful that I joined GROOTS Kenya, as they gave me the proper training to become a community paralegal. Since I joined the group, I have taught women and men about their rights and Kenya’s constitution. Since the start of the grassroots women movement, gender-based violence has declined by 45 per cent in our community. I am happy to see that we are making progress.

Equal rights, equal opportunities

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

I believe that women know their rights, especially widows. As a man, you have to step out and not remain silent. If we want to achieve our goals of development, we must celebrate our women leaders.

The Kakamega women’s group convened to help us understand the sustainable development goals. Gender equality cuts across all of our issue areas and impacts all aspects of our work. Now we go to the community and create a mass movement for progress.

Men, let’s give women the chance to thrive. We’re now pushing for women in the health and education boards in our communities. In 2013, there were four women in the county assembly, but now we had seven of our own female champions nominated in the 2017 election. Women must come out of poverty completely – our goal is that by 2019, every woman has money in her pocket.

Beta

Equal Measures 2030 Partners

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