Over the years women in Turkana have always lived like second fiddles in their family. Playing the primary role of holding their families together. Having to work from dawn to dusk just to keep the activities of the house running. Women are looked down upon in the patriarchal system that grips Turkana. They are not given a voice, a choice or a free life to pursue their own passions. Many women have grown accustomed to this.
From our findings as Ripple Love, we have unravelled that despite the hardship in the region, women play the vital role in the development of their community. Speaking to the women in Turkana we learnt that they all have the potential to help their community in various aspects. That is aside from the fact that the community is among the best communities when it comes to appreciating cultural values.
Thus to empower the women in Turkana, we believe two main problems ought to be looked at. As per our report the problem is in two folds: Social Exclusion and Economic empowerment.
To deal with the social exclusion of women from the patriarchal system, we’d need to look into finding ways to interact with these ladies on a ground level and talk to them about their options and see the ways they’d like to move forward in life and how we can help. By that, there is a need for civic education to make the women believe in themselves. Make them know that they are as important as their male counterparts. This can only be achieved by well-wishers going to Turkana to help reach out to the women physically and emotionally. In that, there is a whole session needed to break down the barriers that have been held on for so long in the community. I.e Mental health, early marriages, girl child education among others.
Economic empowerment will come from ideas we create where women are benefiting from the skills they have and the skills they can acquire. This may seem like a small issue however, it is very crucial in creating economic empowerment for many women who hand make these little curios that are endemic to Turkana. If we could create a structure for distribution of these curios to Nairobi and internationally, it would mean that finances are going directly to the ladies who make them and therefore they are able to generate an income and be looked at as breadwinners in their communities, therefore, breaking the patriarchal system without any frustrations for the men.