It’s impossible to know your rights if no one ever took the time to teach them to you.
For many women in Kenya, it is in school that they learn for the first time about their basic human and legal rights. Many are not taught about these things in their communities or by their families.
Speaking of the education she received while living in America, Kakenya Ntaiya said, “I enjoyed myself, but during that moment while I was here, I discovered a lot of things. I learned that that ceremony that I went through when I was 13 years old, it was called female genital mutilation. I learned that it was against the law in Kenya. I learned that I did not have to trade part of my body to get an education. I had a right. And as we speak right now, three million girls in Africa are at risk of going through this mutilation. I learned that my mom had a right to own property. I learned that she did not have to be abused because she is a woman” (TED Talk, 2012).
So many harmful traditions, such as FGM and child marriage, are not presented as choices for young girls in Kenya, they are inevitable realities.
This is one of the most important reasons why Action Two Africa has chosen to put such an emphasis on educating girls. We need them to know that they have choices. We need them to know that neglect and abuse are not inevitable. We need them to know their rights!