Really great piece from a Kenyan feminist where such similarities shape women and girls’ experience even across borders. The issue of verbal & sexual harassment is becoming quite rampant in Addis Ababa too requiring a public dialogue on the issue.
I have been sexually harassed for 20 years of my life. I have grown up and lived most of my life in a society where touching and talking inappropriately to women, myself included, has become all too normal, and in all spheres of society.
My first experience with this reality dates back to 20 years ago. A certain green dress is etched in that memory. Not only because it was a beautiful dress, given to me as a gift, but more because the first day I wore that dress, at the age of 12 was my first experience with sexual harassment.
In my neighbourhood, there was a corner where boys that had finished high school sat in a gang. I had passed by the gang unnoticed for many years, until I wore the green dress, and for five minutes or so, I had a bunch of 10 or more boys…
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