Naretoi (Women Empowering Women)
27.26 minutes, Kenya and USA, 2019
Maasai still live as pastoralists in a deeply traditional, patriarchal, and polygamous culture. Most Maasai women have never left their “boma” or village and few make any decisions without male permission - their focus is on survival. Doing anything solely for themselves is an intangible luxury not afforded to women in Maasai culture, especially something like climbing a mountain without any involvement or assistance by men.
This expedition is unique in how the women overcome cultural and language barriers to collectively conquer a large mountain. The mountain symbolizes the challenges that we all face as women fighting an uphill battle to gain equality in our lives.
From putting on pants, hiking boots, being in a climate below 65 degrees for the first time, to carrying a heavy backpacking backpack for seven days - every element of climbing the mountain self supported is completely foreign to Maasai women. The challenges of summiting a high altitude mountain are difficult for even the female professionals in the outdoor industry.
The broader intent of this short documentary film is to raise awareness and funds for Maasai girls to go to school. Education is key to giving women a voice to make choices that could determine whether or not they are circumcised and if they have a say in whom they marry. We currently have 129 girls sponsored and enrolled in school full time and we are hoping to see that number continue grow!
Director(s): Kelsey Doyle, Katie Sugarman, Sandra Doyle