How I Celebrated the World Orphan Day

Lulu is one orphan who impacted me greatly. Thanks to Anita home for putting a smile on her face. Lulu is one orphan who impacted me greatly. Thanks to Anita home for putting a smile on her face.

Julius Mwangi

The world celebrated the World Orphans Day on 7th May 2014. This day was celebrated bearing in mind the stark reality faced by orphans world over.  We celebrate this day by narrating the story of Lulu.

Lulu is a girl aged 12 who has no mum and no dad. She lost them when she was 4 in 2007 during the Kenyan Post Elections Violence.  And so I decided to listen to her story. Throughout the entire conversation with her, I could not help feeling a heavy lump of sadness in my throat.

The story of Lulu the orphan begins where she suddenly found herself alone after the death of her parents in the most cruel manner.  She only remembers being put into a lorry and taken to an IDP camp. In the IDP camp a kind family took care of her until she was taken by the children department and committed to Anita Children Home in Nairobi.  Several things happened which she has no recollection of. First all  her parents lost their lives. She does not know whether they were buried or not. She only remembers that her parents loved her so much and when she was hurt they would rush to give her attention.

Lulu is at the moment in Standard two.  She is much older than her classmates. This happens to be the fate of most orphans, they pass through many hands before they get stability and are able to join schools. They thus join schools when they are much older than the rest of the other students. After sometimes they become objects of ridicule from their teachers, peers and the public. Homes like Anita among others therefore offer an important service of ensuring that orphans will always be protected and provided with basic necessities.

However, as I continue conversing with Lulu, she shows me her drawings. And she asks me

“Are they beautiful?”

“Yes” I answer. I stare at her drawings which are little sketches of a mother and a dad holding her in the middle. 

“I miss mum and dad” she says. I just look at her again and the lump in my throat swells more. And I am nearly pushed to tears

She leaves me and joins other girls to play. And I am left thanking God for the beautiful solace Anita Home offers to orphans. And I am happy that I remembered to spend my day with an orphan. 

Kibra Celebrates the Street Children Day

Post by Michael Asenga

Find pictures of the day here
The street children day was marked on 12th April 2014 in Kibera bringing various organizations. (Koinonia Community, Amnesty International, Pillars of Kibera, Consolation East Africa, Shofco, De-Paul Home Olympic, faith based organizations representing the various mosques and churches in Kibera) and stakeholders interested on the plight of these children. 17 primary schools of Kibera were part of the celebrations. Tone la Maji and Consolation East Africa (CEA) among the local civil society, faith based organizations, schools and government departments with special respect to the children’s office provided the leadership for these efforts. This event went on concurrently with other activities carried out in different parts of the country in honour of the street children.

The event started with a match at Karanja Road that ended at Ndugu Mdogo home. The guest of honour at the event was the Deputy Count Commissioner for Kibra. The event was graced by various children artistic presentations. The first presentation being a poem that highlighted on the life of street children. It underlined vividly public stigma directed to these children, neglect and the life of fear . The second presentation painted a picture on the lives of orphans, illustrating social alienation that leads them to street life. The children were encouraged to see themselves as not being alone because God is their constant companion and will never leave them uncared for. Various artistes were present, notable among them being the MOG who sang and danced together with the children. The civil society and faith based organizations, used the occasion to lobby with the government for more efforts to empower street and poor families and for better services for the street children not only in Kibra but the entire country.
During the event, a speech was presented on the status of the street children in Kenya. This speech was followed by a presentation of an on-going study on reintegration challenges experienced by young adults once they leave charitable institutions of care (CCIs). The study is conducted by KARDS in association with Koinonia Community, Kenya Society of Care-leavers (KESCA) and Koinonia Beneficiaries Welfare Association (KOBWA).
The study exposes dysfunctional and poverty ridden backgrounds characterizing the street children phenomenon in Kenya. It also explored other childhood experiences such as exposure to violence, rejection at an early age, hunger, malnutrition and disease. These extreme experiences including peer pressure may act as push factors to street life. Appropriate measures are always needed to effect reintegration at an early opportunity. Where this is not possible, the charitable children institutions (CCIs) could come in handy to save children from severe negative consequences of street life. There are however a myriad challenges experienced when the reintegration process is not successful. First the young adults are expected to become instant adults, fending for themselves and assuming adult responsibilities. Secondly the weak family ties by these children exposes them to all manner of possible exploitation including human trafficking. Thirdly, the children may end up becoming “teenage parents”, criminals or commercial sex workers. Lastly, there are always dangers that the young adults may relapse back to the streets. The government could play a role in reintegration through easing the procedure of issuing identity cards for the former street youth and provide opportunities for work integration. The study is ongoing and will probably be finished in August 2014.
This presentation was followed by the launch of an illustrated booklet on the rights of the child. The booklet was distributed to all the children in attendance during the day.
The area Chief then introduced the government officers who had graced the occasion. He explained that the government appreciates civil societies and other stakeholders working to assist the street children of Kibera. He then invited the deputy County commissioner for Kibera who after acknowledging the work done by the civil society in rescuing children responded to the request that had been raised by various stakeholders urging sub-county officers to be considerate when issuing identity cards to street children. Lastly, he expressed concerns about the recent radicalization of youth by some civil societies and urged that children and young people need to be taught how to love their country and become harbingers of peace.

Lastly, all in attendance were asked to visit and support the “street children day” website.

Schools that participated
A. Old Kibera Primary
B. Again Primary school
C. Toi primary school
D.st Juliet Primary school
E.Depaul children center
F.Ibrahim children
G. Utu primary school
H. Little Prince
I .line saba kings
J.Mbagathi Primary

2. Churches and Mosques

3. Human Right activists

organizations
Hamlet international
Children of Kibera
Carroliner for Kibera
Binti Muslims community
Pillars of Kibera
Scout groups
Lift the children Kibera
Young rovers kibera
Guest
Deputy County Commissioner
Other guests
Dco Langatta Mrs Harriet Kiara
Chief Mr
Ass chiefs

THE CASH TRANSFER FOR ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN (CT-OVC) PROGRAMME

William Omondi

The Cash Transfers for orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) programme is a government initiative that gives support to households taking care of orphans and vulnerable children with regular and predictable monthly cash payments payable after every two months.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

For households to qualify for selection as beneficiaries they must:
1. Be taking care of orphans and /or other vulnerable children
2. Not be having a caregiver, who is formally employed, or receiving financial assistance equal to or more than KSH. 2,000/= per month
3. Be extremely poor

RIGHTS ON BENFICIARY HOUSEHOLDS

Eligible households that have been selected and enrolled into the Programme have a right to:
1. A monthly payment of Ksh. 2,000/= payable after every two months, payable after every two months, (Ksh. 4,000) subject to the availability of funds and your continued stay in the program as a beneficiary.
2. Free Payments from the PSP without giving anything or giving any favors.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CAREGIVER

1. As a caregiver it is your duty to ensure that you:
2. Collect household payments within the payment period. You will be informed in advance the payment dates.
3. Provide regular updates to your Beneficiary Welfare Committee member in your area about your household members whenever there is a baby born, marriage into or outside the households, death of a member of the household, change of school attended by benefiting children or change of hospital where your children go for immunization.
4. Take care of your Program ID Card, Payment card and the National Card. Losing any of these documents will result in you missing your payments until they are replaced.
5. Make sure all children living in your household aged 4 – 17 years are enrolled in primary school and attend school regularly.
6. Ensure you take all children in household aged 0 – 1 years to health clinics immunization, and those children aged 1 – 5 for vitamin A administration and growth monitoring.
7. Ensure you acquire a National ID card within 6 months of enrolling in the programme if you do not already have one.
8. Carry and produce both programme ID, Payment Card and the National ID card when you go to collect payments.
9. Ensure all children under your care are provided with basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter and are taken to a healthy facility for proper health care when sick.
10. Protect all children under your care from all forms of abuse such as exploitative labour, disinheritance, sexual exploitation and/or neglect.
11. Report any cases of child abuse to the local Chief or District Children’s Officer (DCO).
12. Report anyone asking for money or any other favors in exchange for programme benefits.
13. To appoint alternative care giver who will collect money in the event that you are not able to do so.

HOUSEHOLD EXIT FROM THE PROGRAMME

1. You cannot be removed from the programme unless:
2. You nolonger take care of an orphan or vulnerable child under the age of 18,
3. You fail to collect the payments for three consecutive payment periods,
4. You move to a new geographical location not covered by the programme
5. You are found to have provided false information to CT-OVC programme
6. You decide to leave the programme on your own

COMMUNICATING PROGRAM CONCERNS

You should not give anyone favors to continue in the Program.

For any complaints, compliments or suggestions on the OC-OVC programme communicate your concerns through the following ways:

1. Mailing a letter to: OVC Secretariat
P.O. Box 46205 – 00100, Nairobi
Or
“CT OVC Complaints”
P.O. Box 1611 – 068
Nairobi

2. Call this Free number:
0800 – 720 035
Or
Send an SMS to: 0722 528 825
Or
Call this number: 0703 830 957

3. Send an email to:
Ctovc.2010@gmail.com
Or email to:
ovcomplains@gmail.com

4. Complaining in person to:
• Nearest office of the Provincial Director of Children’s Services
• District Children’s Officer (DCO)
• The District Commissioner (DC) or District Officers (DO) offices
• Location OVC Committee (LOC) members
• OVC Secretarial Office in Nairobi Electricity House (Entry near the Standard Bank) 6th Floor- Door No. 1, next to Uchumi Supermarket-Aga Khan Walk.)
• Staff at health clinics or schools

Cash Transfers for Children in Difficult Circumstances

William Omondi Odipo

On November 14th  I attended the Dagoreti Area Advisory Council (AAC) meeting at Maisha Poa.  The District Children’s Officer (DCO) and her Deputy made a presentation about a Cash Transfer Model that was piloted in 2004 and officially launched in Nairobi, Nyanza and Garissa in 2007. Dagoretti began benefiting from it in 2009.

Currently, the fund regularly benefits 153,000 households in Kenya and it is sponsored by Government of Kenya, DFID, World Bank and UNICEF.  The project has a total budgetary allocation of 8 billion per annum.  It  aims to maintain orphans and vulnerable children in their respective families.

Its specific objectives are:

1. Provide a regular support system for the most vulnerable households and

2. Enhance the capacity of households in; food consumption and security, education (enrollment and class attendance),  basic health, access to Birth Certificates and other documents of registration.

In the forthcoming financial year, the project will  transfer a bi-monthly amount of Kshs. 4000/= per household. In Dagoretti North Constituency, 2,312 households within the localities of Ruthimitu, Uthiru, Waithaka and Riruta will gain from it.

Eligibility criteria

1. Presence of Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in a household. (the child must; have lost one or both parents, be living in a household where one parents has been bedridden for 3 months with cancer, TB or HIV, suffering from cerebral palsy, autism)

2. A household must be the neediest in comparison to others in a locality.

3. The household must have been a resident of the area for the last 12 months.

4. The OVC must have a Birth Certificate and be a person below 18 years.

Selection Criteria

1. Sensitization of community at institutional level. E.g. the forum we had this morning

2. Sensitization of community at locational levels through Barazas where the local population will select their locational representatives who must; be conversant with the locality, persons with integrity and possess basic literacy skills of reading and writing.

3. Enumerators will collect socio-economic data  of the identified households.

4. The method of selecting the neediest beneficiaries of the project will be scaled using computers.

5. To eliminate bias in transferring the fund, the names of the selected beneficiaries will validated in a public Baraza in which the beneficiries must be present to seen by the area residents.

Exit Strategy

A household will cease to benefit from the fund when;

1. Its beneficiary attains 18 years of age.

2. The beneficiary relocates to another area.

OVC Secondary School Scholarship

The fund is different from the above Cash Transfer in the sense that it will be disbursed to the DCO who is the sub-county coordinator. Thereafter, each person or institution will fill out forms of request, attach relevant documents and present them to the DCO.

Its annual maximum allocation is Kshs. 15,000/= @day scholar and Kshs. 30,000/= @ boarders with a maximum of 44 beneficiaries per constituency.

Eligibility Criteria

1. The child must be a double or single orphan.

2. There must be proof that s/he is in a public secondary school.

3. S/he must present a copy of the current report card.

4. S/he must not be a beneficiary of another bursary.

5. There must proof from the child’s school that s/he is unable to pay school fees. This will be verified through presentation of receipts to show arrears owed to one’s school, class attendance register, student’s performance and review of the parent’s/guardian’s occupation.

Institutions  ought to seriously consider the above concept.

1. The government is very clear that the child’s place is in the family and the community at large. We also need to begin laying emphasis on home-based care.

2. Sensitize and encourage  parents  to join the cash transfer. Other constituencies like Kajiado and Kibra are also earmarked for the fund.

3. An important question remains how can institutions helping vulnerable children  benefit from this fund or its component on  the secondary school scholarship.

UN: 142 Million Girls Could be Married Before 18

NEW YORK / NAIROBI, October 12, 2012 (CISA ) –

If current trends continue, the number of girl child marriages will increase dramatically over the next 10 years, according to Marrying too Young: End Child Marriage, a new report released by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA,  on the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child. The report also finds that, despite laws to prevent its practice, child marriage has remained mostly constant in developing countries over the past decade.

“No social, cultural or religious rationale for child marriage can possibly justify the damage these marriages do to young girls and their potential,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin. “A girl should have the right to choose whom she marries and when. Since many parents and communities also want the very best for their daughters, we must work together to end child marriage.

It is the only course by which we can avert what otherwise is the human tragedy of child marriage.”
In 2010, 158 countries reported that 18 years was the minimum legal age for marriage for women without parental consent or approval by a pertinent authority. Still, in 2010, one in three girls, or 67 million girls, were married before their 18th birthday in developing countries (excluding China).

Half of these child marriages took place in Asia, with another one fifth in sub-Saharan Africa. But the practice is also widespread in some communities in Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Progress has been made, and the report finds that child marriage has declined in some developing countries, including Armenia, Bolivia, Ethiopia and Nepal, among other countries.
By 2030, the number of child brides marrying each year will have grown from 14.2 million in 2010 to 15.1 million that is over 14 per cent if current trends continue
“Child marriage is an appalling violation of human rights and robs girls of their education, health and long-term prospects,” said Dr Osotimehin. “Marriage for girls can lead to complications of pregnancy and childbirth—the main causes of death among 15-19-year-old girls in developing countries.”
A group of young people came together at The UN complex in Nairobi to mark this day. It was the first and officials from the UN hoped that in future there shall be much more publicity and awareness for the event.

Ms Batula Abdi, National Programme Officer in charge of Youth at UNFPA urged the girls to stand firm in their resolute and believe that they can even do better than the boy child.
“We are enabling and empowering young people. We do this through advocacy, to create a legislative environment so that they are able to enjoy their rights, including their right to education.  UNFPA also focuses on Family Life Education with the purpose of ensuring that young people have decision-making skills, skills to resist peer pressure. We teach these both in school and outside school.” said Ms Abdi.

Others who addressed the young people include Ms Eshila Maravanyika, Deputy Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Ms Irene Mwakesi, National Information Officer, UNIC and Janice Nduati also from UNIC.
Girls who are poor, have little or no education and live in rural areas are most likely to marry or enter child marriages. Girls living in rural areas of the developing world are twice as likely to enter marriage before 18 as their urban counterparts, and girls with no education are over three times more likely to do so than those with secondary or higher education. Girls’ vulnerability to child marriage substantially increases during humanitarian crises.
“When I was 14, I was pressured into getting married, but I knew this was not good for my health or future. The girls in my village who got married young stopped going to school and some even died giving birth,” said Salamatou Aghali Issoufa, a young woman from Niger who was able to convince her parents to delay her marriage. “I wanted to stay in school and become a midwife.”

Governments and leaders have been urged to end child marriage by: Enacting and enforcing national laws that raise the age of marriage to 18, for both girls and boys, using data to identify and target geographic “hotspots” – areas with high proportions and numbers of girls at risk of child marriage, expanding prevention programmes that empower girls at risk of child marriage and address the root causes underlying the practice and mitigating the harmful impact of child marriage on girls.

The UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

 

Kenya: New Book on the Difficulties faced by Sex Workers Out

East African Standard by Goro wa Kamau 18th August 2012

Title: A Walk at Midnight

Author: Catherine Wanjohi

Publisher: Life Bloom Services International 

Please visit this site to get in touch with the author

A Walk at Midnight is the story of the author’s journey with sex workers as she attempts to rehabilitate and inspire them with a new sense of dignity and wholesomeness. It is a journey driven by a need to give these abused women and girls a second chance in life.

It all begun quite dramatically in 2002 when the author, then a principal in a girls’ secondary school found a letter from a parent addressed to her on her desk. The parent who was HIV-positive wrote: “Teacher, you’ve been very kind to me and my girls and I am sorry I wasn’t able to attend the parents meeting last weekend … I have been sick … I don’t know how long I will live. Should I die soon, I will live my daughters with you.” Why would a dying woman have the confidence to write such a letter to her daughters’ school principal?

The letter was traumatising. Now Wanjohi understood why the youngest of the woman’s daughters had asked for permission to go to hospital in Nairobi and why she had attempted suicide when the permission was denied.

She arranged visit the ailing woman together with her daughter. After the visit, the author wondered how many of her students may be similarly affected by HIV/Aids only to discover there were several of them. The author responded by supporting the establishment of peer counselling clubs in her school. Catherine Gathoni, the girl who had just recently attempted suicide, became one of the most active participants in these clubs. She has told her story in the book Can Scars Become Stars?

The author learnt from the girls in the peer counselling clubs about the kind of homes most of her students came from — broken homes mostly headed by poor women for whom paying school fees was a struggle. In addition, those mothers who were infected with HIV/Aids had to deal with problems of social stigma. From then on any time a female parent came to see her she encouraged her to share what other story she might be holding back.

“The stories were often about negligent and irresponsible husbands, early marriages, poverty and single parenthood — voices of what really happened at home, in the family, in our society. Issues that could not be addressed in the narrow confines of the school compound.”

This realisation culminated in the author’s resignation from her school principal’s job. She founded Life Bloom Services International, an organisation through which she started working with sex workers.

Attempted suicide

At the start, it was a baptism of fire, a personally traumatising experience. A Walk at Midnight documents the lives of numerous abused women and girls who are forced to work on the streets of our cities and towns peddling their flesh in an effort to feed their children and often-poor families. Abused and stigmatised, most of these women have to be high on alcohol and drugs in order to numb their minds and conscience against the violence meted on them by their customers and law enforcement agencies.

The book is full of touching anecdotes from the lives of these abused women. Beyond the fear of the consequences of reckless, sometimes unprotected sex, their daily encounters with criminals and other shadowy characters that prowl the sex dens and the violence that accompanies their lives, these women are our ordinary sisters. Like all mothers, they want a better life for their children.

The author, a co-traveller with these women in their struggles, documents how her Life Bloom International Services works closely with Government agencies such as hospitals, prisons, the Provincial Administration, the Church and owners of bars and lodgings in Naivasha and other places where her organisation is active. She ensures the sex workers get access to medical and spiritual care as well as dignified treatment from such agencies as the police when they, inevitably, get in trouble. Through her organisation, the author teams up with well-wishers to train the women in leadership and counselling, trade and vocations, reproductive health, peace-building, basic and computer literacy among a range of other employable skills in a bid to give the sex workers a second chance in life

Acting Against Gender Violence: Kenyatta University GBV Conference 2012 Lessons

Milicent Agutu

The First International Gender Based Violence Conference took place at the Kenyatta University on the 1st to 3rd August 2012. The theme of the conference was “Creating safe spaces: A multi disciplinary approach to gender based violence. The conference was enriched by a confluence of policy makers, practitioners and academics who provided different perspectives on GBV.

Gender Based Violence as defined by UNESCO (1999) entails “acts likely to result into physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including such acts as coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life (UNESCO 1999 p.53)”. Violence significantly hinders the ability of individuals to fully participate in, and contribute to their communities – economically, politically, and socially. It is a human rights violation or abuse; public health challenge; and a barrier to civil, social and economic participation. GBV is also associated to limited access to education, adverse health outcomes, lost households productivity, reduced income and increased costs.

The main organizers of the conference were  AMWIK, Wangu Kanja Foundation, COVAW, CREAW, Menken, The Coexist Initiative, supported by United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, USAID, APHIA Kamili, APHIA PLUS, APHIA PLUS –Bonde, TROCAIRE Working for a Just World, Population Council, SWEDEN, Norad, Elion John AIDS Foundation, LVCT among the others. Kenyatta University the main organizer hosted the conference.

GBV was explored in the context of family, community and state. At the level of the family an examination was made on how the traditional gender roles, societal constructs and culture do promote GBV. At the state level it was felt that combating GBV both nationally and internationally needs to go in tandem with the need to alter the existing paradigms. The conference called for a recognition that GBV undermines not only the safety, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, the security of nations.

Insights

 

1. From the conference presentations it was clear that  GBV is enhanced by traditional structures that reinforce and sanction gender inequality. These structures may be socio-cultural, political, economic and legal and they vary from family to family, community to community and state to state. In many cases GBV was trivialized by the traditional society and people who are culprits of GBV never felt that it was an offense. It was hence considered normal and macho to mete violence against women by “beating the hell out of them.” In some cases women got used to being violated and thought that it was something normal. Hence the woman lived in terror and always expecting/ waiting to be punished for any trivial issue or at the man’s pleasure.

2. A common cultural practice that violates the dignity of the woman is the female genital mutilation (FGM) practiced by several societies. The effects are severe as FGM and are associated with both psychological and health problems. Women risk infections; including problems in their urinary system, obstetric and gynecological complications, abdominal pain and may also emit discharges. The circumcision destroys sexual function and precludes enjoyment of sexual relations. The worst consequence includes the fact that those undergoing FGM risk infertility, complications during child births or to the extreme deaths during delivery.

3. GBV happens within families and takes place either under the full view of the public or in closed doors. The main victims are mostly women and children. There is acceptance of GBV in the families/community and lack of acceptance of sensitive issues; e.g.  talking about  sex is regarded as a taboo. On the other hand common language has been used to promote gender violence. Most words that demean women are considered as normal in the family and society. Hence suffering within a family may go on for a lifetime and may never be reported. Observers too may never intervene to help stopping it. The failure to report spousal violence is attributed to the  lack of community support and absence of approppriate community structures to combat it. On the other hand, the fact that the public (neighbours or friends) does not intervene, shows the extent in which GBV is generally an accepted and condoned societal norm.

4. On the other hand there are no specific anti-GBV laws under which perpetrators can be charged. Crimes of this nature therefore are tried under various laws, such as the penal code, sexual offenses act, counter trafficking act etc. This has the danger that in the long run the victims may not get justice in cases of severe bodily harm and the culprits walk free to continue abusing others women. There is also a feeling that there is little political will to tackle gender based violence by enacting the pending bills.

5. Efforts to address the problem of GBV is also hampered by lack of credible data. Or where this data exists it has never been used by researchers. This means therefore that there is a great divide between the academia, practitioners and policy makers. This divide is bound to make the different approaches to addressing the problem weaker.  However when researchers will find data depositories from the practitioners, then they will be able to show the magnitude of the problem. Understanding the scale, zenith and  scope of the problem will help both the state and the practitioners develop effective strategies to address GBV.

There is also a misconception of the role played by GBV researchers. They tend to merge gender work with feminine activism. Lack of awareness and sensitization among the people and misinformation on Gender; gender being regarded as wholly a women’s issue thus disassociation by men counterparts. Also there is a tendency that students working on gender  are not encouraged to pursue internship with organizations tackling the problem of  GBV. Universities on the other hand have missed in their role which is to teach, research and community outreach. University research should aim to impact communities and help initiate change where it is needed.

6. The conference also looked into human rights concerns and how women (and men) access and obtain justice. It was acknowledged that there are tremendous improvements in the way women victims of GBV are safeguarded.  However the challenge of reporting cases and successful prosecution remains a major impediment despite the presence of laws addressing Violence Against Women.

7. The government on the other hand has not treated the enactment of the pending gender related bills with urgency.  Article 45(5) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 mandated parliament to enact legislation for the protection of the family unit. One of the initiatives that have been undertaken is to consolidate all the laws governing marriage. Currently, the Protection against Domestic Violence Bill 2012, The Marriage Bill 2012, The Matrimonial Property Bill 2012 have been drafted and forwarded to the Commission on the Implementation of Constitution (CIC). Domestic Violence Bill 2012 besides providing the legal framework with a law specifically addressing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), also empowers the courts to provide protection and orders in favor of victims of domestic violence. Areas for advocacy explored at the meeting were:- The P3 forms and the gazettement of the post rape care (PRC), Funding for GBV, Policy reforms to include a special police unit on gender, Funding and services towards psychosocial support and related post IPV attention

8. The Kenyan Constitution has made Gender and women a core focus of our Nation. The Bills of  Rights provides for equality and freedom from discrimination; thus women and men have right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres. Leadership and Integrity Bill – election of women to elective positions; 1/3 of women representatives in the parliament and all elective posts, The Legislature – Promotion of Marginalized Groups; women being part. Devolved Government – county executive committees; Stipulates that the numbers appointed under clause (2) (b) shall not exceed one-third of the county assembly, if the assembly has less than thirty members; or ten, if the assembly has thirty or more members. Land and Environment – Legislation on land; (iii)  that regulate the recognition and protection of matrimonial property and in particular the matrimonial home during and on the termination of marriage and (iv) protect the dependents of deceased person holding interests in any land, including the interest of spouses in actual occupation of land.

Combating GBV

1. There is a need to network with actors against GBV from all sectors of the society; practitioners, academia, policy makers and donors.

2. There is need to empower the women and the girls economically. The government could consider making a provision against GBV within the  National Budget. Women’s empowerment is critical to build a stable Nation and democratic societies.

3. Gender work should be guided by good research that borrows from multi-disciplinary perspectives? Researchers should also consider pursuing a multi-sectoral, dimensional and issues approaches; prevention of GBV, sexual issues, language, culture etc .

4. Create a gender based violence data base of researchers (men and women), , research on how constitution will help solve the  GBV challenge, research on how language escalates GBV, engagement of public/community in their issues, research on how technology can enhance or speed GBV (technology to collect and disseminate data).

5. Actors should be assisted to become socially innovative. This can be done through the formation of communities of practice that will enhance the emergence of best practice in combating the problem of GBV. Education should be a priority and it should reach all the structures of the society. Documentations will need to be made on the important dimensions of service such as advocacy, psycho-social assistance, economic assistance, legal assistance, safe havens etc. On the other hand it is important for organizations to share how they assist women and children victims from abusive family relationships by holistic services provision.

Call for Action

 

1. Ending gender-based violence will mean changing social cultural concepts about masculinity, and that process must actively engage men, whether they be policy makers, parents, spouses or young boys. Faith communities, corporations, institutions have a role to play in this process. The whole country should be educated to act against gender based violence.

2. The Government need to enact urgently the Marriage Bill 2012 and the Matrimonial Property Bill 2012, this will also help in defining gender based violence.

3. There should be interrogation of culture, traditions, attitudes and beliefs and lastly what kind of programs to put for different category of people.

 

4. There is need for regional mechanisms (for advocacy & lobby) that would see the government set space, policy and to do the implementation of programs to support women and girl child.

5. There is need for every one to watch their language as language can prevent or enhance GBV. Taking responsibility on language use, is therefore quite important.  Media  should also be careful to portray women as  language as sex symbols as they risk becoming platforms for GBV.

6. There is need to come up with simple programs of creating awareness and sensitization, social-economic and political empowerment of women and reinstatement/establishment of one stop centre.

 

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