People vs Inequality Podcast

S3 Ep 1: Invisible Women - The leadership of widows in a Time of Covid

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Episode notes

 In this first episode of our special series on Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid we dive into the story of Roseline Orwa. Roseline is an award-winning advocate for widows. She is the founder  of the Rona Foundation, supporting and championing the rights of widows across Kenya. We hear how widows, who have long faced discrimination and abuse in rural Kenya, were affected during the pandemic. How did they respond and adapt to challenging and fast changing circumstances, in which their urgent basic needs and rights were at risk? From sending food on overloaded buses and mentoring young women in the community, to closing a deal with the police after an arrest: Roseline vividly shares the stories and experiences from her community. She works tirelessly to get widows a seat at the table and shows what emergent agency is all about. She challenges the international community, and especially funders, to build on the trust and leadership of widows, and to overcome their biases. Get inspired by the story of Roseline Orwa in this first episode!

To find out more about  Roseline and her  work  check out:


Her profile

Speech at UN CSW 2021 (on Covid impacts on widows)

Recently adopted widow resolution: 

The People vs Inequality podcast is a production by Barbara van Paassen (creator and host) and Elizabeth Maina (producer). This episode is part of a short special series in collaboration with the Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid-19 research project, which is led by Oxfam GB and funded by the Atlantic Fellowship on Social and Economic Equity based at the International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. The research aimed to understand positive lessons from civil society’s responses in the pandemic. The research report will be out soon, keep in touch to hear more!