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Girls at the Heart of It

Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Kenya


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About the Episode

How are young women leaders spreading knowledge and activism to take control of their own futures?

Nearly all studies show that comprehensive sexuality education decreases the risk of unintended pregnancy, HIV and other STIs, and sexual violence. Yet across Kenya and in many places around the world, community resistance and biases, political opposition, and lack of funding prevent young people from accessing their right to sexual and reproductive health information. The result is that more than 390,000 10-19 year olds become pregnant in Kenya annually, according to the most recent UNFPA data.

Today, young Kenyan women and girls are taking their futures into their own hands. In “Girls at the Heart of It,” audiences follow two young women from Akili Dada, a women-led grassroots organization focused on empowering girls and young women ages 13-22 to become leaders in Kenya, including through sexual and reproductive health advocacy. Through high school- and university-level programs, teenage girls and young women at Akili Dada are building skills to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights in their communities, and challenging norms and perceptions to help their peers take better control of their bodies and their futures. Alongside their stories, audiences meet Purity Kagwiria, Akili Dada’s Executive Director, whose own personal experiences have led her to a lifelong commitment to support women and girls in her community.

Watch the episode trailer now.

Meet the Activist: Purity Kagwiria

Purity Kagwiria is a feminist activist and storyteller based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Executive Director of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator for girls and young women who are passionate about social change.

Purity is passionate about girls' education, gender equality, and enabling girls and young women to access spaces to advance themselves and their communities. She sees herself as a learning leader who is committed to cultivating authentic and empathetic leadership in herself and others. She has dedicated her life to ensuring that girls and young women from poor backgrounds can have opportunities to dream and work towards the futures they hope to see.

Purity serves as an advisory member of East Africa Girls’ Brain Trust, has previously served as a founding advisory committee member of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, and in early 2015, she was named as one of the “18 Phenomenal African Feminists to know and watch.” In 2016, she was named a finalist of the Most Influential Women in Governance and Business in Africa award.


Spotlight on the issue

Gender justice activists are working to advance comprehensive sexuality education and encourage girls’ leadership—not just in Kenya but around the world. Meet some of Global Fund for Women’s grassroots grantee partners who are leaders in the movement for comprehensive sexuality education and girls’ leadership.

Facts & Figures

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