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Of Women and Climate

The project “I Want You to Know”, by photographer Gaia Squarci, highlights stories of women’s resilience intertwined with the challenges posed by climate change in Kenya.

Women around the world are disproportionately affected by environmental challenges, because they represent the majority of the world's poor and are therefore more dependent on threatened natural resources. Situations of crisis also exacerbate tension in society and private households, which invariably result in the increase of violence against women. In this context, photographer Gaia Squarci has travelled to Nairobi and nearby provinces to expose stories of resilience and reaction.

Sereti Nabaala is a human rights advocate survivor of Female Genital Mutilation, fighting for women and girls’ rights in Kenya.

Girls chat after school in the Mathare slum, home to 500,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya.

Students from a school in Lemek, Kenya, listen to activist Sereti Nabaala’s intervention about menstrual hygiene. Girls in the region are often forced to skip school for a week each month because they cannot afford period products.

Students from a school in Lemek, Kenya, plant trees with activist Sereti Nabaala.

Activist Sereti Nabaala at her home in Aitong, Kenya.

Young girls play football in the Mathare slum, home to 500,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya.

Verah Adhiambo, 21, from the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, was able to attend high school thanks to a scholarship she obtained by playing football. Today she trains young girls.

The selection includes photographs from the Nairobi slum of Mathare, from a company that recycles plastic to turn it into construction bricks for housing and a women’s rights activist and survivor or female genital mutilation who travels across the country educating communities so that no young girl has to suffer the same.

A worker sorts plastic for Timao, a company that turns recycled plastic into construction bricks. Nairobi, Kenya

Activist Sereti Nabaala walks on the dried bed of river Olchurungut in Lemek, Kenya.

Jean James is the head of Growth and Sustainability for Timao, a company that turns recycled plastic into construction bricks. Nairobi, Kenya

Masai residents of Keleleoni village, Kenya, interact during a distribution of basic necessities held by the NGO Weworld.

Activist Sereti Nabaala, who comes from a Masai family, wears a traditional Masai attire in Keleleoni, Kenya.

Zebras pause at the Nairobi National Park, close to the expanding peripheries of the city. Kenya

The project was born out of an initiative of Cortona On The Move, The Italian Institute of Culture in Nairobi, Weworld, AICS and the Mwelu Foundation. To see more of Gaia Squarci’s work, visit her website.

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