The Women-Only Party That Men Aren’t Allowed In


There are at least three things that every Nairobi woman considers before going out. One, how she dresses and whether men will catcall or touch her. Two, where she’s going and if she’ll be able to fully express herself on the dance floor without unwanted male attention. Three, whether she’ll be able to enjoy herself and drink without the risk of being drugged.

It’s almost impossible to party hassle free as a woman. That’s where Strictly Silk comes in.

Strictly Silk is an all-women dance party that aims to provide a safe nightlife space for women to feel free and have fun. It was started in 2018 by Dr. Njoki Ngumi, Dr. Akati Khasiani and Njeri Gatungo who are part of the Nest Collective, a Kenyan multi-disciplinary arts collective. The party usually happens at a rented residential outdoor space in a Nairobi suburb. It is open to women of all tribes and sexual orientation.

The no-men-allowed rule isn’t just restricted to the party goers. Everyone who provides a service at Strictly Silk, from security to decor to food and drinks, is a woman. Men are only allowed to drop off or pick up the women they are accompanying, but they can’t stay.

Courtesy: The Nest Collective

Exclusive safe spaces for women have been around for a very long time in Indian and Arab cultures, and even in some Muslim religions, but these were mostly for religious and patriarchal reasons. An exclusive fun space for women was long overdue, and the organizers hope to make all-women dance parties a regular thing in Kenya and across Africa.

The idea of an all-women party has been positively embraced by Nairobi women who have all had an unpleasant experience in mixed-sex clubs.The fact that women can be among others like themselves and are free to have fun in a safe space is reason enough to celebrate at a Strictly Silk party.

 

Featured Image Courtesy: The Nest Collective

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