As guided by our mission of building confidence , raising self- esteem and empower ing the communities , women form the central pillar for our operations . Wokike provides a platform that enable women to have a feminist perspective on a range of issues related to rural development and reconstruction, with a special focus on Women’s rights and entitlements. Our strategic focus of for women empowerment is guided by the following key sectors :
Leadership skills to women: -
Through the governance program, singled out potential women leaders are trained on leadership roles to self esteem to demand and take up positions in decision making forums at the community and national level. This has given rise to women and youthful girls vying for elective positions and an increased representation of women in village committees and school committees.
Engage for women space in decision making:
Womankind Kenya has engaged the local traditional leadership structures to review retrogressive cultures inhibiting women. The cultural practices e.g. early marriage, FGM, male chauvinism in leadership, this for many years have created a hurdle in women participation in development and productive roles. The traditional folk song includes messages that lower the girls self esteem through non-formal traditional folk stories and songs that demean the women and the girls.
Women Micro Enterprises:-
Womankind Kenya has supported women groups through grants to initiate small and medium scale businesses within the villages/ settlements, some of the business taken up by women included hides and skins trade, retail shops, mobile charging, livestock trade and hotel and lodging facilities within trading centres.
Women Access to resources:-
The Somali community like all other African cultures are very patriarchal where women are left at the peripheries of development, for men to retain the status quo the traditions hinders women from access and ownership of resources.
• Land: - Land that supports the community main economic lifestyle (pastoralism) is owned and protected by the male and traditional governance structure that is a considered male domain. The community has little engagement with other communities hence only confined to pastoralism skills. The target region has potential in irrigation farming that is little explored, Womankind Kenya has supported women farming groups to engage in irrigation agriculture to enhance food security and household income.
• Water: - the region is considered semi-arid hence poor rainfall patterns, community often move with their livestock in search of water and pasture for livestock, the role of providing water for domestic use is solely vested on the women and the girls, ironically women are limited to ownership and management of water sources. The average distance between watering points is 35km, this takes the whole day to provide only 40litres water for domestic use thus hindering women participation in productive roles and girls access to education.
• Womankind Kenya has supported in excavating water pans to harvest surface run-off during rains, drilled boreholes and shallow wells within settlements and schools, while coupling the water source with trainings to women in management skills and elders sensitization to provide space for women in water management.
• Information: - due to low literacy levels amongst women and girls in the target area (96% of women are illiterate) access to information can only be channeled though vernacular. Womankind Kenya have strengthened the women groups through provision of radio to form radio listening forums so as to access information i.e. in governance and leadership roles, voters education .
WomanKind Kenya supports an orphanage centre for girls with an enrolment of 110 girls. The girls are drawn from destitute families or are orphaned by HIV/AIDS,support excursions and exposures for women, so far over 2500 women were exposed to other parts of the country to replicate good practices from different communities.