Cathy's Story

I grew up in a village in Kenya. My family is from a farming community. The land is in freehold and my dad is the titleholder, but he was never there to work the land. It was always my mum and the children when we weren’t in school.

I started to question this arrangement, because all the money earned from the land had to go into the bank under my Dad’s name.

I started to question why men were making all the decisions and why women had to accept these decisions, whether they were made with regard for women’s needs or not.

Women still often have no say in how these decisions can be reversed or changed. This has continued to motivate me to help women to fight for their land and for their rights over their bodies.

I have been involved with ActionAid for many years, and have worked with them for 6. ActionAid gives us the space as individuals to pursue and to explore our convictions and to actually connect with where the struggles are.

Now is an important moment because as an international community, we have made a number of commitments to achieving gender equality everywhere, in all areas of life, but we haven’t seen much change on the ground. We have the Sustainable Development Goals, but they cannot be sustainable if they leave women behind.

ActionAid’s focus on women’s rights in everything that we do is deliberate. It is because women find themselves with multiple levels of discrimination at all levels - at the leadership level, in the bedroom, at work, in the household.

It is important that women stand with women to support each other, by extending a hand to lift up a woman who is struggling. We are all suffering from the same patriarchal system; the struggle of one woman, is the struggle of us all.

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