Brigitte Uwababyeyi, a 43-year-old mother of four, grew up on a small farm much like the one she lives on now in the sleepy hillside village of Kamonyi in Rwanda. Brigitte and her husband Epimaque have a fairly large home. In the front room, there’s space for his motorcycle. A large chicken coop sits out back near sheds with the rest of the farm’s animals. Her bountiful vegetable farm is a few walkable miles away.
When she married Epimaque, she knew she’d rely on him financially. But she didn’t anticipate how much this would strain their marriage and how it would limit her freedom. She was unable to buy her own clothes or choose what food to feed her family. Once, a friend fell ill and Brigitte couldn’t visit her at the nearby hospital because she didn’t have the money for transportation.