#Press for Progress

Happy International Womens Day!

Comrades, there is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence. I hear the roar of women’s silence. I sense the rumble of their storm and feel the fury of their revolt.”  Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso.

Its been quite a year in the gender equality and inclusion space…with the me too movement against sexual harassment,  ongoing equal pay campaigns in many countries and  the Black Panther movie  among others. We share two recent videos with learnings on gender equality, intersectionality and on power issues and the ‘rebel alliance’ below.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Press for Progress and you can read more about the Day here.

We would love to know what has shaped your understanding and thinking on gender equality this year?

Please share with us through:  socialinclusion4all@gmail.com

#Press for Progress 1# We share a video that was featured by KIT Royal Tropical Institute and UN Women who hosted a public lecture by Prof. Naila Kabeer with the title Locked out and left behind? Gender, intersecting inequalities and the SDGs.”


#Press for Progress 2# On the eve of this years  International Womens Day we share a second discussion by the Center of Global Development with the theme Practicing what we preach: How can development organizations do better on women’s equality in the workplace? that is inward looking – how can organisations ‘remove the log in their own eyes’ before or as they champion gender equality in the messaging, activities and programs. This raises a question: are we moving beyond awareness of social inclusion into practice of social inclusion in our spheres of influence?




Upcoming events in Kenya, Tanzania & online

There are several interesting events coming up in the next few weeks that we’d like to share with you all:

On now until Saturday 11th November

East African Student Film Festival at Daystar University, Nairobi

Featuring the stunning short film called Giza (Darkness) where Isack Abel, a young man from Tanzania, expresses his feelings about the fight against killings of people with albinism.            You can watch the film on you tube here

For more information about the Film Festival, please click here


Friday 10th – Sunday 12th November

Fourth UDADA Women’s International Women’s Film Festival at Kenya National Theatre

More information here


Friday, November 10th (6pm) to Friday November 17th

The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), Kenya, invites you to its first art exhibit, ’27,’ opening .

At Shift Eye Studios, Argwings Kodhek Road, Nairobi (near Yaya Centre) click here for google maps link


Tuesday 14 November – Thursday 16 November

INTRAC is hosting a FREE online event in partnership with ICD Uruguay, Peace Direct and Y Care International as part of International Civil Society Week (ICSW) 2017.

Join us to share experiences and build momentum to rethink partnership, strengthen capacity for sustainability, and ensure a responsible approach to planning for aid exit.

For details and to register, please click on this link


Thursday 23rd – Saturday 25th November

Africa Facilitation Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, organized by Tamasha and IAF (International Association of Facilitators)

Click here for more details


Weds 29th November  6.30-8.30pm

Film screening of “Thank You for the Rain” (film on Climate Change set in Kitui County) at Alliance Francaise, Nairobi

Click here for more details

The #Me Too# Campaign on Sexual Harrassment

In support of the #me too# campaign:

  1. Lupita Nyong’o: Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein by Lupita Nyongo

‘I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness’. Lupita Nyogo

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/opinion/lupita-nyongo-harvey-weinstein.html

2.       Our story of rape and reconciliation by Thordis Elva (TED Talk)

I was raised in a world where girls are taught that they get raped for a reason. Their skirt was too short, their smile was too wide, their breath smelled of alcohol. And I was guilty of all of those things, so the shame had to be mine. It took me years to realize that only one thing could have stopped me from being raped that night, and it wasn’t my skirt, it wasn’t my smile, it wasn’t my childish trust. The only thing that could’ve stopped me from being raped that night is the man who raped me — had he stopped himself’. Thordis Elva


3.     Violence against women — it’s a men’s issue by Jackson Katz (TED Talk)

‘But there’s so many men who care deeply about these issues, but caring deeply is not enough. We need more men with the guts, with the courage, with the strength, with the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other and stand with women and not against them’. Jackson Katz


4.     Street Harassment by BBC

Harassment in public spaces is something that most women have experienced or will experience’




Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day everyone – this day was first marked in 1909 and is rooted in the desire for socialism and equality for all women.  March 8th marks the day that women marched in Petrograd, Russia, which sparked the 1917 revolution.

To commemorate the day, we present a series of articles and information; and the sad reality is that, despite progress in many areas of life, we are still faced with gender inequality on a global level and in all walks of life.  There is much work for all of us, both women and men, to eradicate all forms of sexism in our daily lives, within our institutions and systems, and in the broader society.

Firstly, to motivate everyone, some inspiring quotes from African women activists are here

For those in Nairobi, Kenya, there is an event today to celebrate International Women’s Day from 12 – 6 pm at Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park with Arts Performances, Exhibitions and Dialogues on on Inequalities and Barriers to Development.  FREE ENTRY!

This year’s theme is “BE BOLD FOR CHANGE”.  Today’s Daily Nation celebrates some bold Kenyan women HERE

Here are some articles, largely focused on sexual and gender-based violence being faced by so many girls and women and several, although not all, about Kenya.  Please click on the stories to read more:

The Real Reasons Women’s Don’t Report Sexual Harassment

Hope for Survivors of Political Violence

No Bed of Roses: The Kenyan Flower Pickers Fighting Sexual Harassment

Is Your Dress Really Your Choice?

For more about International Women’s Day and its’ history: please check the following:





“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” Gloria Steinem


Why Silence should never be an Option in a hellish Society

by Rasna Warah

We live in strange and scary times. The president of the world’s most powerful nation is using Twitter to send out 140-character messages (full of spelling mistakes, I might add) to the world.

Yes, Donald Trump, who has an army of communication and public relations experts at this disposal, is physically typing angry messages on his Twitter account – and the United States security apparatus seems quite unperturbed by this bizarre recklessness. (Why doesn’t somebody just take away his phone and disable his personal Twitter account?)

Many Americans are anxious and frightened about their future under an impulsive and unpredictable president, whose national and foreign policies (which seem to be formulated on the spot without any consultation) are being articulated via social media.

To understand this weird new social order, Americans are turning to literature — George Orwell’s novel 1984 about a dystopian authoritarian society hit the bestseller list in the United States this month.

In an article titled, “The Madness of King Donald”, the journalist Andrew Sullivan explains this angst. He wrote: “I think there is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months. It’s not so much this president’s agenda.

That always changes from one administration to another. It is that when the linchpin of an entire country is literally delusional, cynically deceptive, and responds to any attempt to correct the record with rage and vengeance, everyone is always on edge. There is no anchor any more. At the core of the administration of the most powerful country on earth, there is, instead, madness.”

It seems that the inmates have taken over the asylum not just in America, but in many other parts of the world as well. In the Philippines, the president has given citizens the licence to kill drug dealers, and yet he has not suffered any sanctions from the United Nations; on the contrary, citizens have lauded his policy, and hundreds of people have been murdered as a result.

Western countries, whose military actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria contributed to creating an unprecedented refugee crisis, and also gave birth to terrorist organisations, are now refusing to take in these refugees. Instead, many are looking to stop refugees from entering their countries altogether.

Yet these same countries were among the first to reprimand Kenya for threatening to close down the Dadaab refugee camp.

Kenya has not escaped the insanity that is becoming increasingly common around the world. Recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta posted a photo on Twitter of him doing a jig with dancers on the State House lawn at a time when the country is experiencing a severe drought and patients in public hospitals are dying because there is no one to attend to them.

Meanwhile, union officials representing striking doctors were jailed for a month (but later released on appeal) for disobeying a court order, yet Ministry of Health officials have not been reprimanded, investigated or sacked for allegedly stealing or misusing billions of shillings that could have gone towards increasing the salaries of these doctors.

It is easy in these crazy and confusing times to feel disoriented. People’s coping mechanisms vary from depression to detachment. It is no wonder that there is voter apathy in Kenya. As one young man at a discussion I recently attended said: “If after having fought for 20 years for a new constitution, we can still rig elections or choose leaders who are bad for us, then what is the point of voting?”

Unfortunately, this detachment or apathy may embolden those who seek to silence the voices of reason. The language of silence, as Yvonne Owuor reminds us in her novel Dust, is more potent and destructive than the language of vocal protest because it normalises the abnormal.

Sometimes silence can be a precursor to something more ominous. When people are subdued and silenced after experiencing years of poverty, corruption, disappointment, discrimination or humiliation, they experience violence at the deepest spiritual and emotional levels, says Ugandan activist Kalundi Serumaga.

This violence can manifest itself physically, either through self-destructive behaviour, such as alcoholism, or through violent rebellion, like the one witnessed in France’s poor suburbs last week when youth went on a burning spree.

Which is why silence must never be an option in these uncertain times.


Originally published in the Daily Nation, Monday 20th February 2017