Maryanne Koi works with a Kenyan microfinance organization, Ujamaa Africa, based in Korogocho slums in Nairobi. The organization oversees No Means No Worldwide, an initiative to teach women in the slums self defense skills against rape. Rape is extremely prevalent in the slums, affecting girls ages four and older to women in their forties and fifties. Older women are a surprisingly large targeted population for sexual abuse, as they are perceived as weak and HIV negative. The organization provides training workshops for women, which also teach them how to identify instances of rape. Many women who have been sexually assaulted by a close relative are not aware that the act is considered rape. Maryanne is currently working a documentary profiling the work of No Means No. She hopes that the impact of the documentary and self defense training will be to give women the confidence to be assertive and fight back in situations where they could otherwise be victims.

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By Kate