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African women struggle in crisis
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Joan Ochieng is pictured outside her dwelling in early November in the Kiamaiko section of Nairobi, Kenya's capital city. The year 2011 was not good for Kenyan women like Ochieng. Just about everything was a struggle.
Catholic News Service photo
Joan Ochieng is pictured outside her dwelling in early November in the Kiamaiko section of Nairobi, Kenya's capital city. The year 2011 was not good for Kenyan women like Ochieng. Just about everything was a struggle.
Catholic News Service


The year 2011 was not good for women such as Joan Ochieng. Just about everything was a struggle.

“We were not treated fairly,” the Nairobi resident and single mother said of life, noting the many pressures, including spiraling food prices that caused her and her family of four children and one grandchild to often go to bed hungry.

When things like rice doubled in price in six months, a bowl of porridge was often the only sustenance in a day in which eating three meals was almost unheard of. Even eating two meals was often a rarity.

That was not good for a woman who must also take anti-viral medicines for treating HIV. Such treatment can be debilitating on an empty stomach, and it caused Ochieng to shake and experience nausea.

These factors left Ochieng, 41, who lives in the Kiamaiko section of Kenya’s capital city, pessimistic.

“It’s out of our control,” she said, “it’s up to God.” It also made her angry that the experiences of her and other poor Nairobi residents do not seem to be a priority for Kenyan politicians — nor for the larger world.



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