In Summary
  • Security is tight and while a few men are let in, it is only to drop off the women they are accompanying.
  • Unpleasant experiences when out with friends in mixed clubs is part of the reason the two welcomed the idea of an all-women's rave.
  • Some say that although women from all faiths attend the all-women parties, they particularly suit Muslims.

A team behind a new night in Nairobi argues all-women's dance parties can create safe nightlife spaces for women.

On a warm evening in a suburb of the Kenyan capital, a residential outdoor space has been hired out to be used as a dance floor.

Music is playing loudly and women are dancing.

"You have to be so strict in a place with men. You just want to go out with your friends and men interfere," says Jane, 26, who's come to the party with her best friend Shani.

"So having a space where it's all women immediately feels safe and you feel you are with people who understand you."

Security is tight and while a few men are let in, it is only to drop off the women they are accompanying.

After that, the men all have to leave immediately.

And it's not just the partygoers who adhere to the single-sex policy: the bar tenders, security officers, DJs, sound mixers, MCs and ushers are also all women.

'SAFE SPACE'

Unpleasant experiences when out with friends in mixed clubs is part of the reason the two welcomed the idea of an all-women's rave.

"When I learnt that it is a safe space for women I immediately signed up," says Shani.

Shani and Jane enjoy clubbing and heard about the all-women's dance party on Twitter.

The night, called Strictly Silk, was conceived by Njoki Ngumi, Njeri Gatungo and Akati Khasiani, all members of The Nest Collective, a Kenyan multi-disciplinary arts collective that also works across film, music, fashion and other arts.

They started the all-women's dance parties in 2018 but the inspiration behind it was more than simply a night of fun.

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