A group of elderly women in Nairobi, Kenya are learning self-defense to protect themselves from rapists in the area, and they are not fucking around. The rampant attacks on older women seem to be due to the belief that elderly women are not sexually active and therefore do not pose a threat of HIV to their attackers.
They do pose a different, very real threat, however: They will kick your ass.
According to Jane, a 55 year old woman who successfully fought off her attacker:
If he goes to that woman, [he assumes] she is not sexually active…He touched my neck, and then I boxed him, and another one, and another one. They can’t touch me.
Jane and over a dozen other older women meet regularly to practice what is believed to be a form of Shorin Ryu style karate, according to the New York Times.
In an ideal world, no woman would have to rely on self-defense to avoid rape. Unfortunately, we live in a time when rape culture endures, and no area of the globe is immune.
In Kenya in particular, people are moving from rural to urban areas seeking economic opportunities. According to a 2015 report by the International Organization for Migration, Kenya’s population will increase by more than 50 million by the year 2020. As reported by Face 2 Face Africa:
As the population moves from rural to urban areas in search of economic opportunities, informal settlements or slums are likely to emerge, though they will be disadvantaged with regard to morbidity, mortality, access to health services, and risky sexual behaviors.
When vulnerable women in Nairobi couldn’t rely on law enforcement to protect them, they started learning how to protect themselves. After watching the video of those women kicking ass in their martial arts class, all I can say is, I’d like to see a motherfucker try.
Keep kicking ass, ladies.