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TOWARDS GBV FREE SOCIETY Special Edition: 16 days of activism campaign against gender based violence December 2013


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Cover photos

Inside this issue

3 Government and civil society partner to launch 2013, 16 days of activism against GBV

8 Magnetic theatre pulls crowds in Kitale to listen to GBV messages during 16 Days of activism




Local community We have tried; but can do better in the manadministrators aging of gender based warmed against violence crisis in abetting defilement Kenya

Gender based violence: the societal crisis of our time


11 Sauti Ya Wanawake –Voi chapters positively changing their community


15 In honor of Mandela the Human rights defender per excellence

Word from the Editor,

Kwacha song group entertain participants of 16 days of activism against GBV in Taita Taveta County.

Photos by Valine Moraa, IRC

Police take part in the Taita Taveta County procession to commemorate 16 days of activism against GBV

Dear Reader, Every year (since 1991), the world marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign from November 25th to December 10th. In 2013, Kenyans were not left behind. A partnership between the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Government of Kenya and Civil Society Organizations under the coordination of the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) organized a national launch of the campaign where senior government and non-governmental officials present pledged their commitment to fight gender based violence (GBV). Read this and more on page 3 of this special issue. Page 4 presents GBV as the social crisis of our time and page 5 calls upon every Kenyan to do more in the management of gender based violence if we are to realize zero GBV in the near future. The article on page 7 puts the spotlight on local administrators within Kisii County for not decisively addressing reported cases on defilement and on page 8, IRC’s PIK partner organization in the North Rift region-Rural Women Peace Link (RWPL) is presented. The use of magnetic theatre was indeed a great way to pull the crowds to listen to specific messages on GBV during the 16 Days of Activism campaign not just in Kitale but the entire North Rift region. A look at page 11 will enlighten you on the efforts being put in by yet another PIK partner organization in the Coast region-Sauti ya Wanawake Pwani. A pictorial of 16 Days of Activism campaigns is on page 12 and page 15 eulogizes the late South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela who was officially laid to rest on December 10th the day designated as the Human Rights Day. Through this magazine, we hope that you will be informed more about the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and will take action towards ensuring that GBV is eradicated within your family, community, county and Nation.

ABOUT PEACE INITIATIVE KENYA Peace Initiative Kenya (PIK) project phase 2 is an extension of PIK phase 1 project implemented from July 2012 to September 2013. Phase 1 was established to contribute to a more protective and peaceful environment for women before, during and after the March 2013 elections. PIK phase 2 will run from October 2013 to September 2015 and it aims at supporting prevention of GBV and improving the current GBV response frameworks at the national and local levels. The project is funded by United States Agency International Development (USAID) and implemented by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), together with local partners; Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW), Rural Women’s Peace Link (RWPL), Sauti Ya Wanawake – Pwani, Health Care Assistance Kenya (HAK) through GBV hotline 1195 and African Woman and Child Feature Service (AWC). The project covers 9 counties: Taita Taveta, Kwale, Mombasa, Kisumu, Migori, Kisii, Uasin Gishu, Nandi and West Pokot to improve GBV prevention and services at national and county level.

Project Goal: To improve national and county-level gender-based violence (GBV) service delivery systems and policy implementation

Project Objectives:Strengthen county engagement in preventing and responding to GBV Increase access and utilization of GBV services through community outreach and other awareness raising efforts

Editor : John Harrington Ndeta

The articles in this magazine were compiled by the PIK Peace and Media department.

Design and Layout: Valine Moraa

Speci al Edi ti on: 16 days of activi sm campai gn

Government and civil society partner to launch 2013, 16 days of activism against GBV

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need to expand collaboration with relevant institutions among them the National Police Service and health facilities to improve service delivery cannot be underestimated. It is on this basis that NGEC appealed to the National government and all the 47 county governments to provide adequate budgetary allocations to SGBV initiatives as well as enhance coordination at all levels. “We must invest heavily on preventive as well as rehabilitative measures to ensure that institutions that attend to these cases have the capacity to respond timely and professionally,”

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) joined National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) among other partners in Kenya on November 25th 2013 to mark the launch of 16 days of activism against sexual gender based violence which runs annually from November 25th to December 10th . The launch held at the Deputy Sub-County Commissioner’s office ground in Embakasi, Nairobi County, brought together stakeholders from both A 6 kilometers procession from Kayole District Officer’s office to Embakasi Deputy Sub-County Commissioner’s Office ground in Nairobi to mark the the public and private sectors, launch of 2013, 16 days of activism against GBV national and community level. Violence against women cuts across national, racial, traditions said Lichuma. and religious cadres and for that reaOn his part, the US ambassador to “On this day each year, we renew our comson, the Cabinet Secretary for DevoluKenya Robert Godec called for promotion of mitment to free women and girls from the tion, Ann Waiguru who was the chief equality for women and elimination of gender guest appealed to all Kenyans to make scourge of violence in all its forms. We recbased violence in Kenya. “Women are central to the fight against gender based violence ognize that no society can be happy or sethe life of any country. They are politicians, busia priority not just within the 16 days cure when so many people live in fear. As ness executives, and farmers. They are wives and of activism but at all times. Nelson Mandela said: to be free is not mothers and the world cannot do without them,” 16 days of activism is one of merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in said Amb. Godec. the strategies that the IRC through The envoy commended the Kenya gova way that respects and enhances the freethe USAID funded Peace Initiative ernment for focusing on the role of security forces, Kenya project is leveraging on to pass dom of others.” US Ambassador to Kenya and the need for greater accountability. “By pledgthe message to members of public, Robert Godec ing to do so, the Kenyan government has demonstakeholders and duty bearers on the strated its commitment to stronger efforts by the need to collaborate to eradicate this security forces to stop gender based violence,” he said. vice. It is estimated that one in three women worldwide NGEC Chairlady, Winfred Lichuma, restated the has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. global theme for the 16 days campaign as: ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women.’ It was domesticated here in Kenya as ‘Working with police to end gender based violence (GBV): From peace at home to peace in the community’ and adapted in various local languages. The correlation between the incidences of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) cases which are criminal in nature and should be reported to law enforcement authorities who must ensure that evidence is secured, survivors assisted to record statements in order to pursue justice in the Courts informed the decision to remind Kenyans of the need to work with the police. Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, was in agreement and lauded the theme whose focus was working with the police to eradicate gender based violence. From the National Summit on gender based violence and peace held at the close of August 2013 ( an IRC activity that brought together county and national stakeSecretary for Devolution and Planning ministry, Hon. Ann Waiguru while launching 2013, 16 days of activholders to participate in GBV prevention), it is evident that Cabinet ism against gender based violence: Insert: Inspector General of police , David Kimaiyo speaks at the launch the need for enhanced coordination in management and the

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Government and civil society partner to launch 2013, 16 days of activism against GBV up on care. Understanding victims' needs, and using best Violence against practices for assessing these cases, are essential skills for the women cuts across ethnic, racial, socio-economic, job. and religious lines, and knows no borders. The US Advances in the war against GBV ambassador challenged Kenyans to take a stand So far, Kenya has made great strides in laying the st against gender based violence. “In the 21 Century groundwork for better police and other government serand in a time of great progress on so many fronts, it vices to respond to violence against women, to include is well past time for us to completely and utterly developing a strong legal framework. The Sexual Offenses reject violence against women. We cannot accept or Act of 2006 is a good example. The draft 2012 Protection tolerate the terrible harm it does to our mothers and against Domestic Violence Act would also go a long way daughters, to our friends and colleagues,” he said. toward improving the situation for Kenyan women. The 2013 theme was informed by the fact Speaker after speaker appealed for collaboration US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec that when police and other professionals have the and partnership – the international community, governright tools and training to address gender based violence, they can make ments, multilateral organizations, private sector companies, and civil socigreat progress in helping women. Police are often the first members of ety – to prevent and end violence against women. Of importance to acgovernment to provide care for victims, meeting them at a critical motors was the need to empower women economically, coupled with strong ment when they are most vulnerable. Women victims of violence depend laws and excellent work by the security services if violence against women on police to collect evidence for prosecution and guide them to followhere in Kenya and everywhere in the world is to be ended.

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Gender based violence: the social crisis of our time litical upheaval such as 2008 is an escalation of what already exists on a steady but less alarming scale. The 2008 post election violence should therefore have help Kenyans to focus more systematically on GBV that goes on all the time within our homes and the community at large. Despite this, Kenya remains largely ignorant of the magnitude and impact of GBV with many associating it with a few criminal elements unaware of its long term socio-economic and health impact. Available data from the comprehensive Kenya Demographic and Health A man batters his wife (photo posed by models) Survey (KDHS 2009) and FIDA Kenya(Gender Based Domestic Violence Gender Based Violence (GBV) refers in Kenya. 2008 ) – among other sources shows to harmful acts that are perpetrated against that women and girls are disproportionately someone based on his or her gender. These include physical and psychological abuse, sexual affected by GBV as up to 1 in 2 women report having experienced violence at one point in their violence, verbal abuse, threats, coercion and life time. deprivation of liberty in public or private life. The data shows a worrying trend of up The dreadfulness of GBV in Kenya to a quarter of the girls (ages 12-24) having lost came to the fore in the 2008 Post Election their virginity through different forms of forced Violence (PEV) when thousands of women, intercourse. Overall, 60% report age of first girls and some men and boys underwent horabuse at ages 6-12 while 24% between 13 and rendous violations within a relatively short 19. All these data shows that GBV starts early in period of time. Even though there was unusual the lives of girls who have to live with the effects spotlight on the violations, a 2013 UN women for the rest of their lives. publication notes that “during Kenyan election What is disturbing is the revelation periods, electoral gender based violence is confrom FIDA Report (2008) that 80% of the perpesistently meted out to women by communities, trators of gender based violence are men, and families, political party members, candidates, only 14% percent women and the rest 5% were supporters and the media who seek to discredit parents and custodians. female candidates in the eyes of society.” Data collected from health facilities Latest research by gender based vioalso confirms the worrying magnitude of the lence service providers also reveal that GBV is a problem: Nairobi Women’s Hospital for incontinuous menace- what happens during po-

stance receives on average 18 cases of rape and incest daily. Latest reports show an increase of rape from 332 in 2012 and 297 in 2011 between January and May to 383 within the same period in May 2013. Nairobi Women Hospital Gender Violence Recovery Centre (2013) study shows majority of the GBV cases (64%) occur with the survivor’s home compared to 20% percent that occur in dark places and hidden areas. An emerging trend is the increase in sexual violence against children. Nairobi Women Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital report treating more young children (less than 11 years) as victims of gender based violence than grownups. A book titled Battering, Rape and Lethal Violence (2012) report on physical threats against Women and indicates that Nairobi Women are most at risk of attack, battery and rape from current intimate partner. Despite the high GBV incidences, the magnitude of the problem is often not easily reported apparently because most survivors suffer in silence. KDHS (2009) data shows that only 12% of women who had been physically or sexually abused report to someone in authority. The implication for GBV actors is that “Breaking the silence” still remains a relevant awareness creation endeavor to ensure that GBV is moved from the closet to the socio-political platform for it to receive the due attention. The 16 days of activism is one of the strategies GBV actors leverage on to raise awareness on gender violence to the public, stakeholders and duty bearers on the need to collaborate to eradicate this vice.

Speci al Edi ti on: 16 days of activi sm campai gn

We have tried; but can do better in the managing of gender based violence crisis in Kenya

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better way of attaining this than putting all these services under one roof. The launch of Gender Violence Recovery Centre in Kisumu was a step in the right direction when it comes to the fight against gender based violence. A multi-stakeholder strategy involving the Kisumu County leadership civil society and medical as well as legal institutions in the region joined up to unveil a 5 million facility designed to actual16 days of activism campaign against gender based violence is ize the management of gender based violence in the larger western reth th marked from November 25 through to December 10 every year. gion of Kenya. In Kenya, various strides have been made in a bid to eradicate The GVRC-Kisumu is a first of its kind and there is need for all forms of gender violence. From enactment of the Sexual Offences Act the County as well as National 2006 to the Employment Act 2007 which addresses sexGovernment to make these ual harassment, the country has instituted legal and judioffices operational by stationcial mechanisms to manage sexual offences. ing relevant officers in the The Constitution of Kenya (2010) has quite a facility. Among the critical number of clauses that outlaws discrimination, harmful issue that the centre will be cultural practices, forced servitude and upholds the digdealing with on a daily basis is nity of the individual. In 2011 Prohibition of Female domestic violence which takes Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act added impetus to the bid the form of spousal battering, to deter retrogressive cultural practices but outlawing in child abuse, economic disemtotality any forms of cuts on women and girls. powerment, sexual exploitation In the lead up to the 2013 general elections, and abuse, early marriages actors in the women and girl’s safety and protection deamong others. veloped an on-line GBV Referral Map for GBV services Other outstanding and a created 24-hour national Child helpline (116) and issues that still need to be adGBV Hotline (1195) which played a critical role in mandressed in the fight against agement of GBV before and after elections. gender based violence is inadeThe gazettement of a comprehensive Post Rape quate facilitation of survivors Care (PRC) form (2012) meant that the GBV survivors by police due to lack of vehican now access full examination and prescribed medical cles and facilities at stations. treatment at the expense of the state, meaning they can Lack of specially trained staff now demand for free post rape care services from any in the police service to support government facility. comprehensive collection of The era of relying on one government doctor evidence and support survivors to fill the P3 form was brought to an end as now any in the reporting process need medical practitioner including a registered nurse, clinical to be addressed. officer in accordance with section 6 of the Medical PractiContinued shortage of rescue centers and temporary shelters tioners and Dentist Act, Cap 253, Laws of Kenya can now fill in this at police stations and community at large need to be prioritized by both form. county and National Governments as well as Non State Actors. The establishment of Gender Desks within police stations to Of great importance is the need for establishment of a Genfacilitate reports of domestic and sexual violence was a step in the right der Crimes Unit with a dedicated team of specialized officers and the direction. This venture that followed introduction of training of Police mandate to address crimes that fall under the ambit of the enactment officers on gender based violence at Kiganjo Kenya Police Training Colof the Sexual Offences Act 2006, the Prohibition of FGM Act of 2011 lege have laid the ground for eradication of these age-old vice in our sociand related laws. This will ensure special spaces for survivors of GBV ety. with facilities to allow for the confidential collection of testimonies and In August 2013, GBV actors gathered under a National Summit evidence within all police stations, and specialized staff to support survion GBV and peace and proposed establishment of structures at the vors. county level to deal with the GBV crisis from the grassroots. One of the During this year’s 16 days of activism gaps that were identified at the Summit was gaps in management and and beyond, all service providers and duty bearers coordination of actors and must observe ‘no-tolerance’ policy in management responders for effective Of great importance is the need for establishof GBV cases especially in accessing PRC and P3 service delivery to the GBV forms. Corruption has impacted upon the use of ment of a Gender Crimes Unit with a dedicated survivors. Coordination of the P3 and PRC forms and must be rooted out team of specialized officers and the mandate to actors in the GBV work once and for all. must be taken to the next address crimes that fall under the ambit of the Last but not least, the government level where effective netshould fast-track the development of a national enactment of the Sexual Offences Act 2006, the working amongst the poGBV policy being spearheaded by the Directorate Prohibition of FGM Act of 2011 and related lice, CSO, relevant minisof gender under the ministry of Devolution and tries and security as well as laws. Planning to give policy directives on all gender legal officers needs to be based violence cases now and in future. enhanced. There is no

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Watering down the Matrimonial Property Bill was insensitive to the plight of the grassroots women Denial of inheritance rights on basis of gender and cultural traditions and beliefs has over the years constituted a major form of violence against women and girls in Kenya. You would hear men blatantly say, “In our culture, women do not inherit land and other matrimonial properties.” In November 2013, the National Assembly passed Matrimonial Property Bill, which defines matrimonial property as only property that is jointly owned by the spouses. Given the predominant customs in Kenya – in which men inherit property and women move in with their husband and therefore do not own land – very little, if any, property will be considered matrimonial in nature under this narMatrimonial symbol row definition. have matrimonial property The Bill now awaits President shared according to the contribution made by Uhuru Kenyatta’s assent and if enacted will each spouse in the marriage upon divorce, allow women to be stripped of any family fails to capture the plight of hundreds of property, including the home in which they women in rural areas and informal settlelive, upon divorce or the death of their husments who are engaged in unpaid care work. band. Even though married women contribTradition and poverty has relegated ute to the wellbeing of the family, caring for these women to caring for the sick, disabled the home and for children, their labor will not persons, children and families, cleaning, culticount in the division of property. vating, fetching water, collecting firewood, The Bill does not comply with funand cooking; all which are non-monetary damental protections of spousal land rights as contribution to a marriage. established in the 2010 constitution and the 2013 Economic Survey by the 2012 Land Registration Act under section 93 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reveals that provides for non-monetary contribution. that women account for a paltry 25 per cent of The section states: ‘If land is held in the name employees in the labor market as compared to of one spouse only but the other spouse or approximately 75 per cent of males in employspouses contribute by their labor or other ment and contributing to NSSF. means to the productivity, upkeep and imThis scenario implicitly suggests a provement of the land, that spouse or those diminishing number of female employees per spouses shall be deemed by virtue of that labor registered employer over time. The trend supto have acquired an interest in that land in ports the view that women have a smaller the nature of an ownership in common of share of economic opportunities such as forthat land with the spouse in whose name the mal employment. certificate of ownership or customary certifiOn aggregate, women have a lower cate of ownership has been registered and the share in social security funds for use after rights gained by contribution of the spouse or retirement and hence their greater vulnerabilspouses shall be recognized in all cases as if ity to poverty than their male counterparts. they were registered.’ Therefore, the Bill is A section of men and women have unconstitutional and if passed, would signify a voiced their support for the new bill arguing tremendous setback for women rights, includthat equality demands equal contribution and ing land rights. equal share. However, many activists have The society has been engaged in a opposed the bill citing inequalities in employraging debate around the bill that underpins ment and access to, and control of sources of the need to increase visibility of women inwealth. heritance rights and the need to develop poliThose against it have argued very cies to address gender inequalities. However, the push by legislators to

strongly that it will take the women’s gains back to the dark ages when the husband’s word was law on whether a goat, sheep, cow or land is to be sold, and at what price. Since men owned and controlled sources of wealth, in most communities a woman was there to be seen but not to be heard when decisions were to be made. As a nation we must progressively embrace change to achieve the desired goals. Indeed, issues of family, sexuality, property and gender roles and responsibilities are sensitive and emotive and it will take a total mind shift to realize equality and peace. Way before the Matrimonial Bill was taken to Parliament for its first and second reading as per the Standing Orders, several public forums were held in Nairobi, Naivasha and Mombasa to lobby for or against certain clauses. It was during those forums that lobbying was intense and most of the controversial issues were identified, debated and resolved or left in abeyance. When the Bill was taken to Parliament, it was expected that the women MPs, both elected and Nominated would automatically lobby their male colleagues to back the Bill as it was without amendments to dilute it. In case the President will assent to the bill effectively making it a law of the land, women leaders and MPs must go back to the drawing board and re-strategize on how they will engage with their male counterparts to influence legislation of issues that are closest not just to their hearts but to the hearts of the grassroots women. The Sexual Offences Act (2006) is an example of how it can be done. Njoki Ndungu (who is now a judge at the Supreme Court of Kenya) together with the Civil society organization pushed for the law that has changed the way sexual offences are handled by the authorities, the public and individuals. It is time legislators stood up to be counted by making sure that they not only use their numbers effectively in the August House, but also in the Senate and other corridors of power to ensure that women gains are not only protected in the new Constitution, but are also promoted to the next level.

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Local community administrators warned against abetting defilement Though defilement is one of the sexual and gender based violence crimes depriving girls of their sexual and reproductive health rights, access to justice remains a challenge in various communities across the country. While commemorating 2013, 16 days of activism against gender based violence in Kisii county, village elders, chiefs and their assistants

that resolving defilement cases through ‘kangaroo courts’ initiated by the local provincial administrators not only deprives the victims of their right to access justice but also exposes them to public humiliation and stigmatization. “Chiefs and their assistants are notorious for striking out of court settlement deals in defilement cases, which serves to compromise evidence and render the cases irrelevant before the courts of law,” said Sanaya. She added that although chiefs and their assistants understand the law, they have used it to advance their selfish interests and derail justice for victims of defilement and other sexual assault cases. “It is worrying that chiefs and their assistants who know the law fail to advise sexual violence victims on the need to go to hospital within 72 hours as delays undermine evidence,” she said. Sanaya accused the local provincial administration of convening kangaroo courts which enable perpetrators to walk scot-free after paying pre-arranged fines to parents of the victims. “The setting up of kangaroo courts presided over by the chiefs and their assistants makes it possible for the perpetrators to compromise and have them rule in their favour to the disadvantage of the victims,” said Sanaya. However, Mbogai Rioba Gucha Deputy County Commissioner absolved the administrators from the accusations. He warned that action will be taken against any village elder, chief or assistant found guilty. He advised survivors of SGBV to seek medical attention before reporting any cases to the police for investigations. The 2010 Kenya Violence Against Children Survey indicates that violence against children is a serious and growing problem in Kenya. According to the Survey, One of the Peace Initiative Kenya small grants beneficiaries perform a mime on defilement of school levels of sexual violence targeting chilgirls, one of the rampant forms of gender based violence dren below 18 years stand at 32 per cent for females and 18 per cent for males. It were accused of convening ‘kangaroo courts’ to broker out of court settlenotes that 16 percent of females experiment between parents of the victims and perpetrators. ence at least one incident of physical, According to Bathseba Sanaya, chairperson Maendeleo Ya emotional or sexual assault as children. It Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) larger Gucha sub-county, chiefs and also indicates that 13 per cent of females their assistants are abetting gender based violence by encouraging surviexperience all three types of violence vors to drop cases and have them resolved locally. Sanaya lamented Mrs. Bathseba Sanaya during childhood.


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Magnetic theatre pulls crowds in Kitale to listen to GBV messages during 16 Days of activism

Magnetic theatre on sexual and gender based violence staged by Matrix Theatre Group and Resolution Dancers during commemoration of the 2013, 16 days of activism against gender based violence attracts a crowd the Kitale market place

On December 3rd 2013, the 9th day of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence; Peace Initiative Kenya Project partner Rural Women Peace Link held a series of art performances in Kitale town to raise awareness on the need to stump out all forms of gender based violence. Matrix theatre group and Revolution dancers staged what is popularly known as magnetic theatre pulling crowds who were then educated on the risks, challenges and need of addressing gender based violence in the community. Hinged on the national theme, from Peace in the home to Peace In the community, the theatre groups performed at Kipsongo market, Stage Lodwar and Lions Stage where hundreds attended to listen to the 16 days of activism messages. Magnetic theatre includes performances that attract people’s attention

using creative arts with a view to pass a specific message to the public. One of the actors; Mr. Mbugua was presumed to have collapsed in the middle of the road. The actors then argued over what had happened and the ensuing milieu managed to capture the attention of the onlookers. As the ‘lifeless’ body of the actor was carried to the venue of the meeting, hundreds of people gathered and were happy to learn that it was a play after all. In another instance, two actors, a boy and a girl performed as though they were cohabiting. Other theatre members stormed their house and caused a commotion over allegations that the school boy had run away with the school girl after school. The general public joined in as they flogged the two actors to the venue of the meeting where anti-gender violence messages were then disseminated.

In so doing a crowd quickly gathered and a discussion on gender based violence was initiated. The public decried high rates of school drop outs, early marriages, forced marriages prostitution among others as the most endemic forms of gender based violence. Kelvin Odhiambo, volunteer community worker, says there is more feedback. “People have opened up and are now discussing more about different forms of gender based violence,” he says. Jikinge Cards from Health Care Assistance Kenya, yet another partner of Peace Initiative Kenya Project who run the hotline 1195, were distributed and the general public asked to call the number for free in cases of any incidents of gender based violence. The public was also asked to work hand in hand with the police to ensure that cases of gender based violence are reported and perpetrator punished according to the law.

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COAST COMMEMORATES 2013, 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s Peace Initiative Kenya Project joined its coast region partner organization Sauti Ya Wanawake -Pwani (SYWP) to commemorate 2013, 16 days of activism against gender based violence. Three separate commemorations were held in Mombasa, Kwale and Taita Taveta counties. The events were flagged off with processions by the County administrators and provided platforms for awareness raising, legal aid and medical as well as psychosocial support to survivors of Gender based violence. The commemorations were also used as an arena to raise awareness on the importance of a Gender Crimes Unit to boost the effectiveness of gender response as most gender desks across the country are not functional. This was witnessed in Kwale County, whereby participants got a chance to visit Diani Police Station only to find the desk unattended. At the arena, gender activists appealed to the National and County governments to provide adequate budgetary allocations in support of a Gender Crimes Unit. Mombasa County Campaign

A typical example of most gender desks found at different police stations within the country; they are not well maintained and lack daily personnel to attend to survivors of gender based violence

Above: A procession to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender based violence held at Mwakirunga location, Mombasa County. Left: Sauti Ya Wanawake Pwani Mombasa Chapters perform a play on the sufferings women undergo because of gender based violence

In Mombasa the commemoration took place on December 2nd at Mwakirunge ward which is a remote and neglected area in the county. GBV cases are rampant in Mwakirunge but most of them go unreported due to lack of awareness and ignorance of the people. It is for this reason that SYWP held the commemoration in the area to serve as an awareness campaign. Kwale County Campaign Kwale County commemoration took place on December 4th at the Diani showground. According to SYWP, Kwale County has had widespread cases of GBV especially in early marriages. “Parents in the area feel that it is a privilege for their daughters to get married especially if the groom is a ‘white tourist’ and do

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Above: (from left) IRC’s Simon Panyako with SYWP’s Violet Muthiga and other participants who took part in marking 16 days of activism in Mombasa county Left: A mother gives water to her child while taking part in the Kwale county procession to mark 16 days of activism

Continued from page 9 not care about the problems associated with it,” says Violet Muthiga, Chief Executive Officer SYWP. She adds that ‘sex tourism’ is also on the rise in the area as beach life encourages many children to practice prostitution to earn a living. Ms. Muthiga said, “SYWP will continue raising community awareness against the escalating GBV taking place in this area more so in the most rural parts and the areas around the beach.” Taita Taveta County Campaign In Taita Taveta County, the commemoration took place on December 7th at the District County Commissioner’s (DCC) office

Dorcas Jibran (Chairlady SYWP Taita Taveta Chapters ) while introducing the guest of honor Mrs. Hope Mruttu at the commemoration arena

ment cases, 1 sodomy case while 6 are unnatural cases. Mrs. Jibran also observed that Taita Taveta County has over the years experienced a high school dropout among girls compared to boys due to unwanted pregnancies and/or forced early marriages. Taita Taveta County Governor’s first lady and guest of honor Mrs. Hope Mruttu as she was introduced to the public at the 16 In Mzwanenyi village for example, at least 5 girls days of activism commemoration arena drop out of school annually, as a result of teenage pregnancy. “SYWP with support from USAID and ground. The Taita Taveta County Governor’s wife (Hope Mruttu) was the IRC through Peace Initiative Kenya project remains determined to guest of honor. While speaking to the public, Dorcas Jibran who is the educate our communities on GBV and seek to openly involve men in Chairlady SYWP Taita Taveta Chapters said that Taita Taveta chapters had our awareness programs. Engaging men in GBV awareness camreported 64 GBV cases at the three main police stations in the County in paigns makes them knowledgeable and hence they become change 2013. Among the cases reported 73% of them involve children. 10 are rape agents and not perpetrators as is the norm,” said Mrs. Gibran. cases, 2 are attempted rape, 39 are defilement cases, 6 are attempted defile-

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Nearly twelve months ago, 13-year-old mentally disabled girl from Voi County was defiled by a 34-year-old man well known to her and ensured that the perpetrator was arrested. Up until now, she confamily. tinues to encourage persons affected by sexual and gender based vioThe heinous act happened one Sunday morning when the girllence to report violation incidences. Madam Ngao insists that she will Pendo (not her real name) accompanied her mother to a church service as was her norm. In the course of the ongoing church service, Pendo stepped out of the church for a nature call. It was while on her way back that a man, whom she was quite familiar with, warningly approached her and lured her away from the church compound to his home then defiled her. Pendo’s shouts for help attracted neighbors who had seen the girl being taken into the house. The neighbors quickly rushed to the church and alerted Pendo’s mother on what was happening. In shock, the mother ran to the scene of crime only to find the culprit had already fled. Justice In spite of this harrowing ordeal, Assumpta Mwamburi who brought Pendo’s case to my attention during the commemoration of 16 days of activism campaign in Taita Taveta County, says that Sauti ya Wanawake Pwani, particularly the Voi Chapters were Assumpta Mwamburi leads Sauti ya Wanawake-Voi chapters in a song that discourages sexual and gender based violence during the commemoration of 2013, 16 days of activism against gender based violence in Taita Taveta County pleased with the outcome of Pendo’s defilement case. work hand in hand with all women and children who are violated,” “ Pendo’s mother reported the incident to Sauti ya Wanawake explains Assumpta. Voi chapters in good time and we quickly took up the case. Our immediGrassroots interventions ate priority was taking the girl to hospital where she received free medical Assumpta Mwaburi notes that Sauti ya Wanawake Pwani care and psychosocial support. A comprehensive medical report on the under Peace Initiative Kenya has enabled Sauti chapters to train and defilement was also done by the doctor without any charges,” confirms monitor women and children in their respective communities and Assumpta who is one of the Voi chapters for Sauti ya Wanawake Pwani, schools in the fight against sexual and gender based violence. In Voi under the USAID funded Peace Initiative Kenya Project. constituency, the community initiatives that Sauti chapters take part in The case was then reported at the Voi police station where Asinclude GBV awareness creation and legal training. They also chamsumpta admits they had to part ways with Ksh. 1000 for the P3 form. pion for women and girls rights, offer psychological support to GBV Although it took a period of six months, the perpetrator was survivors and visit schools to teach children on gender based violence finally arrested and arraigned in court. He was found guilty of defilement and the importance of education. and he is currently serving a 30 year-jail term at the Manyani prison in Voi On a monthly basis, Sauti ya Wanawake –Voi chapters which constituency. comprises of 40 women, hold stakeholders’ meetings that includes faith Police Gender Desk based leaders, gender desk officer, representative from ministry of According to Assumpta, it is the joint effort put in by Sauti ya health, social service officer, children’s officer, school teachers among Wanawake Pwani Voi Chapters, the medical officer who examined Pendo, others. Together, they discuss on issues affecting their community and the Voi gender desk officer, the assigned police officers, the witnesses and come up with strategies and solutions on how to tackle those issues. the legal officer that saw Pendo’s assailant brought to book. Sauti chapters also take part in county committee meetings In particular, Assumpta is grateful to Madam Mary Ngao (who which recognize them and have opened ways for them to reach out to was then the Voi gender desk officer) for promptly responding to the case community leaders to assist survivors of gender based violence. when it was brought to her attention. “Madam Ngao continuously made follow-ups on Pendo’s case


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Preparation for the National launch of 16 days of activism 1 2




Hulda Ouma of NGEC chairs in the planning meeting for the National launch of 16 days of activism. The one month-weekly meeting was held at NGEC Nairobi office. 50 organizations including IRC taking part in the National launch planning meeting

4 3.


5 5.

16 days of activism National planning representatives survey the venue grounds.

National launch of 16 days of activism in Embakasi, Nairobi County Participants who took part in the 16 days National launch. Women, men, youth and children came out in large number

Procession to mark the National launch of 2013, 16 days of activism

Dignitaries join the entertainment who to mark 16 days National launch Dignitaries visit ground exhibition centre.

HAK’s exhibition centre at the grounds

NGEC official illustrates how the 16 days of activism calendar will look on the their website 16 days of activism National planning representatives meet with the Embakasi District Deputy Sub County Commissioner in his office

Speci al Edi ti on: 16 days of activi sm campai gn

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Migori, Kisii and Kisumu Counties mark 2013, 16 days of activism

16 days of activism banner





1& 2– Migori County marks 16 days of activism 3&4– Kisii County marks 16 days of activism


5– Kisumu County procession to mark 16 days of activism


COVAW (PIK partner organization) took lead in organizing the activities.

Rift Valley and Western province marks 16 days of activism 16 days of activism message

"A billion people rising", "pray the devil back to hell" is t among the films cas at Kobujoi, Nandi County in a bit to educate the masses on the effects of GBV

Youths who to part in marking 16 days of activism in Uasin Gishu County

Magnet theatre on effects of GBV is used to educate members of public in the outcasts of Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County


RWPL official addressing the public in Kitale market while marking 16 days of activism

The public came out in large number

wn Kitale to m held in ru fo n io of GBV A discuss e effects ss on th to discu A man informs himself through PIK banner


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Coast County marks 2013, 16 days of activism Participants listen to ongoing speeches during commemoration of 16 days of activism held Below: Minister of Gender Coast County, Mrs. Alvina Mzungu speaks at the commemoration of 16 days of activism held in Mombasa

Right: Kwacha Africa Youth group perform a dance during the commemoration of 16 days of activism held in Mombasa County Skit by Sauti ya Wanawake Pwani chapters on high rate of girl dropout from schools at the coast region

Kwale County take part in the procession to mark 16 days of activism against GBV

Kwale County Gender desk officer speaks at the commemoration arena

ard ale County W Nominated Kw e arena th at ks ea sp e representativ

Taveta dance group entertain participants at the commemoration arena

Mrs. Hope Mruttu, the guest of honor at the Taita Taveta County 16 days of activism commemoration, being welcomed

7 year old recite a poem warning against child violation

Police officers receive 16 days of activism t-shirts from Sauti Chapter– Mrs. Jibran The National Children President, warms members of public against any form of children violation during the Taita Taveta 16 days of activism commemoration

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In honor of Mandela the Human rights defender per excellence

Nelson Mandela

On December 10th 2013, human rights defender per excellence was laid to rest and a myriad of lessons from his life remain for today’s leaders to learn from. Nelson Mandela, the first black South African president finally departed aged 95 years and will be greatly remembered for his contribution to the liberation struggle not just in Africa but across the globe. On December 10th, the day designated as the International Human Rights Day, a memorial service in honor of Nelson Mandela was held at Johannesburg, South Africa where former and current heads of States, World leaders and celebrities gathered to pay their last respects to the fallen African hero. In his eulogy, US president Barack Obama referred to Mandela as a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world. Mandela led an anti-apartheid movement - a movement that at its start held little prospect of success considering the grip with which the Whites dominated leadership held in form of segregation and discrimination against the black majority. It is worth noting that Mandela gave a voice to the voiceless and advocated for racial justice coura-

geously through steps that saw him imprisoned for 27 years till the dying days of the Cold War. And finally when he emerged from prison, Mandela managed to hold together the blacks and whites in South Africa when it threatened to break apart due to racial segregation by sharing a Nobel Peace Prize with his former nemesis Fredrick de Clerk. Mandela taught us the need to understand not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t; hence, he worked hand-in-hand with his former oppressors, an act that served to further unite blacks and whites who for years treated each other with suspicion and utter enmity. After being crowned first the first African President in the Republic of South Africa, Mandela wasn’t drunk with power as some other African leaders do but rather chose to institute a constitutional order that would ensure racial integration unity and prosperity of South Africa. Unlike many African founding fathers, he did not cling to power. A man who fought for freedom for nearly 3 decades only held power for a five year term and handed over to his fellow African freedom fighter

Thabo Mbeki who was considered to be better educated and a tolerant modern leader who espoused Mandela ideologies. This helped unify not just the black Africans but the entire multi racial citizenry of South Africa: blacks and whites who felt safe in the new constitutional and leadership dispensation. Mandela affirmed in the 1990’s what he had said at his trial in 1964: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination.” Many African leaders in the post independence era managed to resist colonial domination but terribly failed to resist domination from their own quotas. Even to date, many leaders wade off opposition from their opponents but fail to tame pressure from their inner circles leading to vicious circles of oppression and endless power struggles. For Mandela, his freedom translated to the freedom of the people in his backyard- the blacks as well as the people in the opposing camp - the whites. One of the most formidable human rights philosophy that directed Mandela’s actions is manifested in his declaration: “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Mandela was unyielding and steadfast on what he believed. That is the reason he rebuffed offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.” But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. Indeed, it took Mandela’s approach to leadership to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth.

This production is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Peace Initiative Kenya P.O. Box 62727-00200, Nairobi Telephone: 0726082140 0733701040 Fax: 254-20-271-7763 E-mail:

Towards gbv free society  

16 days of activism is one of the strategies that the IRC through the USAID funded Peace Initiative Kenya project is leveraging on to pass t...