“When I dare to be powerful…” – On the Road to a Sexual Rights Movement in East Africa

Author: Zawadi Nyong’o. Interviews conducted by: Eva Ayiera, Christine Butegwa, Kavinya Makau and Zawadi Nyong’o. Edited by: Christine Butegwa and Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe. A Publication by Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) (February 2010)

When I dare to be powerfulPreface (Excerpt)

This publication breaks the silence regarding women’s sexuality. Governments, women’s rights activists and other social movements, often fail to understand the connection between sex work, forced early marriage, land rights, poverty, education, property and inheritance rights. We need to understand the politics behind sexuality, sexual rights and sex work because the liberation of all women, the equitable distribution of power and resources, and the ability to control our own bodies are indeed critical to our feminist agenda. This breakthrough work is in line with AMwA’s core mandates of creating space for African Women to SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. It allows sex workers to speak for themselves; claim their spaces and share their stories. “When I Dare to Be Powerful” redefines African sex workers; giving the power back to them and their struggles.

Introduction (Excerpt)

“When I Dare to Be Powerful” presents the multiple dimensions of women’s lives. Women who happen to have worked or still work in the sex industry. Women in their complexity, full of personality, experiences, dashed dreams and high hopes. Mothers, sisters, lovers, wives, women with vulnerabilities and women with strength. The book presents the interwoven tapestry of narratives that tell merely a thread of women’s life stories, rejecting the “single story”, telling neither the negative stereotype, nor the politically correct narratives, reinforcing and debunking myths.

Full report available here.


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