What is a Woman Worth in Kenya? by Katelyn
Here in Kenya I'm surrounded by people who hold very different marital values than those I have grown up with. I was raised to believe that women and men are equal and that marriage is a union of two individuals who loved each other. Here, it's really sad because women are told from the time they are small that they aren't worth anything on their own. Their worth comes from being a good wife and mother.
Arranged marriages and polygamy are two of the traditions which degrade women, but another one that is totally atrocious is FGM (female genital mutilation). It is a brutal and horribly harmful way of demeaning women in this culture. For an explanation of what FGM is click here.
Some of the things that I have taken for granted in the United States are the things that really degrade women in this society. For example, people here called my mom either "Mama Kate" or "Chris' wife", but never "Karen" because these titles signify that her identity is only with the position she holds in our family.