BBC Digital: The Kenyan widows fighting ‘sexual cleansing’

To watch the video click here…

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This year I visited an amazingly brave group of Luo women who have come together to fight forced ‘sexual cleansing’. This old Luo ritual requires women to have sex – often with strangers – when their husbands die.

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The tradition is not widespread, but for this group of women it is a reality. Refusing to take part could mean losing your children or your property. And so, many do not have a choice.

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The men who “cleanse” them are sometimes HIV-positive and do not use protection, as Pamela explains in the video (link at top and below).

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Here we see the beginnings of a feminist revolution. Women who are beginning to talk about the practise, raise awareness and create change.

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For these women, ‘sexual cleansing’ has been a normality for years. It’s all they’ve ever known and been taught. Now, Roseline, who leads group therapy sessions, says she sees women ‘waking up’ daily to a new reality, one which they are creating from scratch.

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I left these women also feeling more ‘awake’, wondering which parts of my own life I considered to be ‘normal’, based on what society has led me to believe. Roseline calls it ‘un-learning everything we have been taught’.

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To support them and learn more, please visit: http://ronafoundation.co.ke/?v=518f4a738816

To watch the video click here…

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