A lone ranger: My journey towards becoming a feminist geographer in Nairobi, Kenya
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Very few Kenyan universities offer modules on Gender or Feminism in their courses. Women are largely under-represented and very few hold senior positions. Due to the few numbers of female faculty, mentorship for young female scholars is lacking. Feminist writing by Female Kenyan geographers in professional geography journals is limited. Collective action among female geography faculty is also largely absent. This is largely due to the lack of feminist advocacy and policies in the universities. My journey to becoming a feminist geographer has received little or no support from the university. I have taken personal initiatives to link up with local and transnational gender associations in order to get insights on current feminist scholarship issues. My lived feminist experience and observations of the struggles of ordinary women in everyday livelihood negotiation have been my main motivation for continuing to do feminist work. Thus, my feminist work has concentrated on women in marginal economic informality. This paper presents my journey as a feminist geographer. It begins with a discussion on the state of feminist geography in three universities in Kenya namely, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Egerton University. This is followed by a presentation of my journey toward becoming a feminist geographer in the absence of a supportive infrastructure. My journey has been inspired by my lived experience. The paper concludes with a call for a concerted effort for feminist advocacy in Kenyan Geography departments.
University of Nairobi
SubjectKeywords: Collective action, economic informality, feminist geography, Kenya, scholarship, university
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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