Sengwer people

Organization: Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Program (SIPP)

Participant: Winnie Sengwer

Country: Kenya

This project sought to overcome a patriarchal system in Kenya in which women lack control over the conservation and use of natural resources. To that end, Sengwer women leaders were trained to protect water springs and other sensitive ecosystems in their regions, as well as to discuss other key issues affecting women and girls in their communities, including sex education, the expansion needs of the villages, and the generation of alternative sources of revenue. 

After a preliminary meeting with community leaders, the training was given by a human rights officer from The Defenders Coalition. The preliminary meeting involved 15 male leaders who were encouraged to incorporate women into local decision-making in the future. At the workshop, 21 women received legal training so they can better participate in decision-making spaces where they are traditionally underrepresented. They were also encouraged to recognize the importance of land and resource ownership for women.