Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

New Eyes

New Eyes

Talk of April 2008 and horiible memories of a theological insttitution where I was as a part time lecturer floods my mind. I was fired because I 'sounded' LGBTI affirming.The sin I had committed was to talk on behalf of our brothers and sisters who happened to be of a different sexual orientation in the local seminars and appear on the website of Other Sheep.

I had to listen to them and show love and concern.When the administration learned of my involvement in this ministry it thought I had gone insane and my services were no' longer needed in a holy institution.'

The sacking ignited in me a passion to advocate for the rights of the LGBTI community in our homes,institutions of faith, social places and even places of work. Nothing will deter me from this cause and it doesn't matter where one comes from; to me you are a human being with rights to be respected.I was denied classes to teach and my children were seen as outcasts because the other children on the compound were told not to play with them for they would teach them 'bad manners'. It was humiliating to us as a family and that is what made us go out stronger and chiampion for the full inclusion of the LBGTI persons in our various faiths, communities and families.

I had to contend with this social injustice and death dealing challenges that have condemned many of LBTI persons to a life full of stigma and a culture of violence, silence and sometimes senseless death.
In March this year in Mtwapa in Kenya some gay persons were exposed to humiliation and torture by the heterosexuals on suspicion that they were getting married. I had to move there as an activist with Other Sheep Kenya to dialogue with the pastors and Muslim community on issues of sexual orientation.Many thought we would not leave Mtwapa alive because of the animosity that was being shown by the people at the coast. I knew I was fighting for a just cause and that is why I had to leave the comfort zone and go to dialogue on behalf of those hurting in society.

I had to introduce the topic of sexual orientation in our church in the women's ministry. Of course this came with repercusions; some members left the church but as a church we were determined to champion this cause. Our church was segregated against by the mother church but we stood our ground and said the LGBTI persons should enjoy all the privileges that the heterosexuals enjoy in church.

When my church was locked out of the membership of the Annual Conference I didn't give up, I mobilized the women and came up with Riruta United women Empowerment Programme that deals with issues of the women,children,youth and sexual minority..

You area gift and I can't take you for granted! So it is not enough to shout Solidarity but more importantly Accountability. Are you accountable for the positive change women are yearning for?This is what Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme embraces in its work in a hurting society.I look at issues with 'New Eyes' to give a valid verdict.

Oh! Yes, speaking on issues affecting humanity in general and women in particular calls for courage,spiritual stamina, creative and constructive solidarity which I believe the holding hands symbolizes.

Comments

Aurore's picture

Wow

You sound like a very determined woman! I can guess the feeling of unfairness of being fired because of affirming some people's right to exist as such. Good luck to your organization and all my congratulations for your attempts to change the point of view religions have on non heterosexual people, that's a huge work ... !

Riruta UW Empowerment Programme's picture

Homophobic free world

Yes Aurore,
I have to hold others hands so that they can move on in life. Life is full of challenges for the LGBTI community and they need someone to assure them that they are not sick. It is a huge task but with so many sisters in this community telling me 'press on' I know one day we shall get there-a homophobic free world.

Thank you sis

Anne Khadudu Baraza,
CEO- Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme
+254 729880651/ 020 2602803
!27-00502 Karen, Nairobi Kenya

Fatima Waziri's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story Anne. Indeed you are a very strong and courageous woman to stand you for the rights of others damming all consequences except in Africa where the idea of being gay is novell. May God continue to give you the strength to fight for the rights of others and for the voiceless.

Peace!
Fatima

Riruta UW Empowerment Programme's picture

Africa A Sleeping Giant

Hi fatwaz,
Thank you for your encouraging words.In life we have to make choices.Sometimes they are not in our favor but in favor for that brother or sister. My dream is to see Africa accepting that sexual orientation is discovered but not chosen as many people tend to think.Working with lgbti is a challenge to those who hold traditional values. Some even say homosexuality is a foreign ideology and there we no homsexuals in Africa! What a fallacy!This is what we are battling with in this part of the world.

Anne Khadudu Baraza,
CEO- Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme
+254 729880651/ 020 2602803
!27-00502 Karen, Nairobi Kenya

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

PHOTO ESSAY: The Dreams in Their Eyes

PHOTO ESSAY: The Dreams in Their Eyes

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

On Women's Agency in Southern Africa

On Women's Agency in Southern Africa

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Welcome, Women in the World!

Welcome, Women in the World!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative