For a long time, women from Kamtayeni Village in Traditional Authority Chiwere in the central district of Dowa have been suffering in ignorance of their rights. Most of them never knew about their basic rights, let alone how to claim those rights.
“Please Henry don’t talk to me in vernacular, I don’t want to be punished once my colleagues and teachers hear me talking our vernacular while in the campus.”
She just became the most educated person in her family.
Orphaned at age 13, Jenifer was raised by her aunts, whom she affectionately calls her “other mothers.” They’re subsistence farmers who live in a tiny mud-brick home with Jenifer and her sister.
The farm fields here are cemeteries of cornstalks: a severe drought has left them brown, withered and dead. Normally, a failed crop like that signifies starvation.
In Africa, the majority of food is grown by women, yet women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land, access only 10 percent of agricultural credit, and are routinely – systematically?
"For one to be productive, you need to have access to resources and to markets," says Henry Swira. "And it's easier for men to have access to resources, because that's how traditionally it's been constructed, when actually it is women who do 70 per cent of the work in the field."