RCWG Behind the pink gate

RCWG helps to facilitate the personal growth of girls by giving them access to knowledge and increasing their awareness of their rights. We believe that by investing in women and girls, it will help create a generation of women unafraid to speak for themselves and break the barriers imposed to them by outdated social norms.

The Challenge

It is difficult for Kenyan girls to dream big. It is neither a lack of drive or ambition that keeps them from fulfilling their potential, but a series of obstacles driven by a patriarchal social system and by extreme poverty. For many families in rural Kenya, boys are considered a more worthwhile investment than girls. They cannot afford to send all their children to school, so given the choice, it will likely be the boys. Girls are either kept home to help with household chores or sent out to work. This is particularly harmful to teenage girls who are vulnerable to assault in the streets. The daily reality for women and girls is one plagued by harmful practices that encumber the possibility of fulfilled potential. They face gender-based violence, sexual violence, harassment, early marriage, polygamy and female genital mutilation. Traditions and custom governing inheritance and land acquisition also tend to favour men, leaving women with no chances of acquiring the capital that can help them become independent. When women are wronged, their ability to access legal justice is prohibitively expensive. As a result of these constant pressures and hurdles, and with few female role models in the community, girls are denied hope and barred from aiming high.

The RESPONSE

The Resource Center for Women and Girls (RCWG) was set up in 2007 in Machakos, south east of the capital Nairobi. Its goal is to help facilitate the personal growth of girls by giving them access to knowledge and increasing their awareness of their rights. The idea is to support them to grow into informed and independent women who are able to make their own choices and improve life in their communities and beyond. RCWG believes that by investing in women and girls, it will help create a generation of women unafraid to speak for themselves and break the barriers imposed on them by outdated social norms. RCWG offers a series of mentoring camps that equip participants with the tools to make informed decisions about their bodies and their lives, with an emphasis on solidarity and leadership run by alumni of previous girls’ camps. Girls are taught about sexual and reproductive health and rights, ensuring they understand that it is their right to live in safe environments, free from violence. The girl-centred and girl-led nature of the activities is very encouraging to newcomers. The organisation also runs workshops for parents, to help explain the importance of girls’ human rights and how these can affect a whole community. The group encourages girls to stay in school and develop their skills.

The Resource Center for Women and Girls is keen on expanding our networks and increasing our impact numbers by imparting information significant to their respective gender. The idea is to gauge the impact social norms affect students’ personal development. This year, we plan to do this by visiting various schools where our alumni and camp participants go to school. This ensures that we have a larger pool of girls we are working with and we have the support of school authorities.

 

This year, we were able to participate in CSW 63! Our work in line with the CSW agenda, addresses among others, SDGs3 Good Health and Well-being through our sexual and reproductive health and rights program, SDG4 Quality Education through our work with schools, ensuring a reduced number of school drop outs, through our menstrual management and proper infrastructure and sanitation programme, that girls go to school, stay and finish school, SDG5 Gender Inequality through our mentoring programmes where girls are taught about their human rights and the emphasis that women’s rights are human rights and SDG17 Partnerships for the goals respectively through collaborating with like-minded organisations.

Through partnerships and collaborations with other organisations, our work also addresses SDG8 promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

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Our office is in Machakos County, a 1 hour drive from the capital city Nairobi.

  • Tel: +254 756 678 667, +254 721 678 667

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