Focus on harmful traditional practice of "Girl beading" in Kenya
Indigenous pastoralist women in northern Kenya, including the Samburu women, suffer from many human rights violations as both belonging to marginalized indigenous communities and as being women who are victims to various forms of harmful traditional practices.
The organization 'Samburu Women for Education & Environment Development Organization' (SWEEDO) works for the improvement of the situation of the Samburu women, and IWGIA supports them with a project addressing harmful traditional practices with a particular focus on the tradition of “Girl beading”, which entails engagement of very young girls in sexual relationships. The project seeks to facilitate community discussions on the need for changing harmful traditional practices of indigenous communities. The project is unique in the sense that it not only focuses on the girls that suffer from oppression in relation to beading, but also on how the practice is perceived by different age groups and by men in an attempt to break taboos and develop joint community solutions. The tradition of beading frequently leads to cruel forceful abortions, increases the spread of HIV/AIDS and forces the girls to leave school. As part of the project supported by IWGIA, SWEEDO has recently published a newsletter where the beading practice is for the first time highlighted and discussed.