Uaso Umoja Women’s Village

Umoja Uaso is a village in Kenya which was founded in 1990 as an all-female matriarch village. It is located near the town of Archers Post adjacent to the Samburu National Park.

Traditionally, Samburu women have a subordinate position in their society. They are not allowed to own land or other types of property, such as livestock and women themselves are considered property of their husbands. They can be subject to female genital mutilation, forced marriage with the elders, rape and domestic violence.

The village was founded by Rebecca Lolosoli, a Samburu woman, as a sanctuary for homeless survivors of violence against women, and young girls running from forced marriages. The village is made up of manyata huts built from a mixture of earth and cow dung on an abandoned grassland. The houses are surrounded by a fence of thorns and barbed wire. Men are permitted to visit the village, but not allowed to live in Umoja. Only men who were raised as children in Umoja may sleep in the village.

The ladies run a primary school, cultural center and camping site for tourists visiting the adjacent park, and create and sell jewellery to benefit the village.

Accommodation is also provided in simple bandas and you have the opportunity to visit their homes, learn about their culture and enjoy a traditional meal.