Our Icon Lady this week is mama Safi,Mama Safi was born in Laikipia County, deep into the Maasai Community. At a young age, she was married off according to the customs and traditions of the community. She did not get the right to an education and grew up never allowed to express herself freely as women had no voice in the Maasai culture. When GROOTS Kenya initially moved to Laikipia County, GROOTS Had a very hard time remodeling her into the empowered woman she is today. She learned about her rights and why rights are important for her. She became a grassroots women gender champion defending the rights of Maasai women and girls.
Mama Safi has been engaging with grassroots women groups to make sure they get registered. Some have not yet registered their children meaning if the parents were to die, then the children would be rendered landless.
There is no voice or agency of women and youth in the Maasai Community. Mama Safi also stated that women in the Maasai community were given the capacity to call for barazas and most did not participate in them, hence the voice of women and the youth was absent in the barazas.
Earlier on when she tried to advocate for women’s Land rights, she was not given the platform to do it but now she’s no longer chased away and can engage with the stakeholders. To get her voice out Mama Safi has also learnt that she has to work alongside Men Champions to articulate the issues that are closely affecting the women, men and youth of the Maasai Community.
GROOTS Kenya has empowered Mama Safi through training, getting her connections and networking and has been given opportunities to voice the issues that Maasai Women are facing. She now has the capacity to attend meetings and listen in on the conversations of women engaging in fighting for their rights, not only on land issues but in all sectors of women empowerment