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#EQUALFOREACH was the theme for the day. Women and girls gathered in at Kiboro grounds in preparation for the football match. “it’s a sunny and hot day but I am ready to join my fellow women in celebrating international women’s day” Grace* a young girl residing in Mathare said. Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Program (BHESP) also took part in the activity in which was held on Friday the 6th of March.

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By Mercy Mutonyi, project coordinator for DREAMS Innovations Challenge project at the Bar Hostess Empowerment & Support Programme (BHESP) and AVAC 2019 fellow

Growing up in an informal settlement in Western Kenya, I lived in a society that labeled young women working in bars as “bad girls” who would teach the good ones “bad manners.” Nobody, not even their families, wanted to be associated with them. My family took in a cousin of mine who had been excommunicated by her family for working as a bar waitress in our hometown. I loved her dearly — she was my hair and fashion stylist and we got along very well as she was just three years older than I.

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