Women in Kenya face the struggle of being subjugated to consistent rights abuses. Women continue to be educated at an inferior rate to their male counterparts and they are still limited from owning, acquiring, and controlling property. A majority of women are faced with the challenge of accessing affordable savings and credit facilities. According to statistics from Kenya’s Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) 45% of women between ages 15 – 49 in Kenya have experienced either physical or sexual violence with women and girls accounting for 90% of the gender based violence (GBV) cases reported. One in five Kenyan women (21%) has experienced sexual violence. According to UNICEF, 27 percent of girls and women between ages 15 and 49 have undergone Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). Although the constitution and law prohibit discrimination, government authorities do not effectively enforce many of the provisions and discrimination against women and individuals with HIV/AIDS is a problem. HIV/AIDS continues to be a problem. In Kisumu, Kenya HIV rates are over 18%, making it the second highest HIV prevalence in the country. Many of those living in HIV positive status are young mothers.
Willow Tree Roots' Women's Socioeconomic Empowerment Project seeks to provide vulnerable women in Kisumu, Kenya with income-generating skills. These skills will include artisan training in a craft of their choosing and education in business and financial development so that they can run businesses of their own. With these skills, these remarkable mothers can increase their socioeconomic status and become empowered business women!