Judia, a talkative, confident 19-year-old, came to Umoja aged 13, having run away from home to avoid being sold into marriage. “Every day I wake and smile to myself because I am surrounded by help and support,” says Judia, her long plaits held back by colourful lengths of beads.
“Outside, women are being ruled by men so they can’t get any change,” says Seita Lengima, an elderly woman I meet in the communal shaded area in the village. “The women in Umoja have freedom.”
Curiously, for an all-woman village, there seems to be a lot of children around. How does this happen? “Ah,” laughs a young woman, “we still like men. They are not allowed here, but we want babies and women have to have children, even if you are unmarried.”
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