The women only village: it’s in Kenya and men simply aren’t allowed.
Did you know there is a village in Kenya comprised of only women? It’s technically called a ‘matriarchal refuge’ and the village was founded 25 years ago as a safe haven for women and girls who wanted to escape abuse.
Started by Rebecca Lolosoli, the Umoji Usau Women’s Village is a place where widows, orphans, victims of rape, genital cutting, and force marriage can live together in peace. ‘Umoja’ means unity in Swahili, and the women who live there make jewelry and other crafts to provide for their children, and rely on tourism as well.
Side note: there’s something beautiful about journeying to a women only village or other settlement with your mom, sister, or best friend.
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Men are forbidden to live in the village, but can visit as long as they abide by the women’s rules. Despite saving up for the land and buying it, the women still face the struggles of persecution from men. Men have beaten them in front of tourists, blocked the road that leads to their village, and tried to prevent them from buying land. Despite all the obstacles, Umoji has thrived and become a great example of a successful matriarchy.
So basically if you are looking for a place to spend your tourism dollars in Africa, Umoji is the place to go.