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Resisting War, Poverty, and Economic Crisis

My main objective at the Conference was to make connections with as many women as I could, especially women from the African continent. Africans usually can connect and communicate more easily with people around the world than among ourselves. We deal with language as a major problem as well as difficulties in moving from one country to another due to visa restrictions imposed upon us.

We in Africa have very crucial issues to address—war, poverty, and economic crisis. It was very important for me to get involved in as many activities at the Conference as possible.

Each day the Grassroots Tent was allocated to people of particular nationalities. On September 5 it was the turn of the African continent. I was privileged to be among the people asked to talk about the community development model. I shared how Re-evaluation Counseling (RC)* tools can be utilised to evaluate our economic development. It is important to realise that women are the producers but do not control the product. To empower the African woman economically, she needs to be given tools to help her take charge of her own life, to have a sense of who she is, to develop self-confidence and not settle for less, to understand the concept of independence rather than dependence. We can use RC to dismantle all the messages of oppression and assess all factors which are set in her way when she wants to take charge.

A key woman to remember is Mary Nyokabi who leads a women’s co-operative in Kenya. She had brought along tons and tons of crafts made by the women co-op members and was determined to sell them all. Having noted her constantly in her booth, I went and introduced myself. After five minutes, she entrusted me to her things and went to take a break. When she returned, she asked me if I could help her look for something to eat. When she returned, she expressed her appreciation, as she had not had a chance to go out anywhere or even to participate in any Conference activities. She had assumed that the Conference was only for the most highly-educated women who can speak English and have some sort of expertise. Through the discussion I learned that she had initiated a 10,000-member women’s co-operative group that covers several districts. I told her what a wonderful and important person she was, that she was the right person to be at the Conference, and that she had a lot to teach us—especially at the Grassroots Tent. Later I made arrangements for her to attend the RC introductory talk.

The following day I asked another person to help her sell her crafts while I took her to the Grassroots Tent in order to translate. She was able to attend a support group, along with women from Papua, New Guinea. We also made a date to meet in Kenya.

Wanjiku Kironyo
Nairobi, Kenya


* Re-evaluation Counseling (also called Co-Counseling) is a process whereby people of all ages and backgrounds can learn how to exchange effective help with each other in order to free themselves from the effects of past distress experiences, including the effects of oppression.  No Limits for Women uses the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling to create a system of ongoing mutual support in which women can help free each other from the emotional harm done by sexism.  It also provides the opportunity to develop fresh and intelligent prospectives on the global and local issues involved in the elimination of sexism/male domination by women and male allies

For more information about Re-evaluation Counseling, see: <https://www.rc.org/page/about>

 

For more information about No Limits for Women see: <https://www.rc.org/publication/foundation/nolimitsmission>

 


Last modified: 2015-01-22 17:44:45+00