Blog Archives - CREAWKENYA

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May 2, 2022by CREAWKENYA

In light of the changes in the work environment and statutory structures in the country (Kenya), we thought of bringing the below FACTS to your attention, in our favourite HR segment titled Le Savies Vous

FIVE HR Employment relations FACTS

  1. Le Savies Vous? You are entitled to 30 Days pre adoptive leave with full pay? -On 30 March 2021, the President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Employment (Amendment) Act, 2021 (the Act). The Act was one of 3 Employment (Amendment) Bills introduced in 20191, and it is the only one that has currently been passed into law. The Act came into force on 15 April 2021, following its gazettement through Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 53 (Acts No. 2) PRE ADOPTIVE LEAVE – AMENDMENT ACT.pdf
  2. Le Savies Vous? If signed into Law, employees will have the right to disconnect from work? The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 (the “Bill”) was Gazetted by a Gazette Notice dated 8 October 2021. The Bill is aimed at addressing increased employee burnout and promoting employees’ work life balance. Specifically, the Bill seeks to amend the Employment Act, 2007 to introduce an employee’s ‘right to disconnect’. This is a workplace concept that is gaining increasing attention, globally, more so following the effect that the covid-19 pandemic has had on labour relations.
  3. Le Savies Vous? CREAW has an anonymous online feedback and Whistleblowing portal ?-https://forms.office.com/r/rFnjaGWL07 and at/nAC34 for beneficiaries, partners  and staff, used  as a feedback mechanism to capture their experiences when interacting with the services that we provide.
  4. Le Savies Vous? That CREAW as an organisation has a signed commitment towards safeguarding and that the same binds your action/s both at work and outside of work? The training slides are here for your perusal SAFEGUARDING AWARENESS TRAINING – CREAW KENYA- DK.pdf
  5. Le Savies Vous? Every female employee is entitled to a lactation rooms in the workplace that are adequately provided with necessary equipment and facilities including hand-washing equipment, appropriate cooling facilities, electrical outlets for breast pumps, a small table and comfortable seats? in line with the requirements of the Health Act, 2017 (section 71 & 72) GUIDELINES-FOR-WORKPLACE-SUPPORT-FOR-WOMEN-SOFTY-COPY-SAMPLE-converted.pdf

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May 2, 2022by CREAWKENYA

In Kenya, women’s groups movement emerged in the pre-independence era which scaled up in the wake of independence in response to the development aspirations targeting illiteracy, poverty and disease burden. However, as years go by, more and more emerging issues affecting communities have continually been spotlighted by women groups. From political exclusion, gender bias, violence against women and girls as well as social injustices.

It is to this end that the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) program supported by Global Affairs Canada through CARE Kenya is implementing a project to support the capacity and activities of local and national women-led organisations seeking to increase enjoyment of human rights and gender equality by women and girls in Kenya.

To achieve this, the project is providing funding to the grass-root women rights organisations and networks, in recognition of the funding gaps they face. Amongst the many gaps they needed to fill, Human Resource was identified as a capacity building area of need. Having noted that human resource department is the heart and soul of any organisation, we embarked on capacity building trainings to help the women rights organisations get to speed with the basics of the department needs.

The training areas largely focused on Human Resource policies, Board Charter and governance policies, Organisation structures and charts, Statutory registration, Talent Acquisition, performance management, Payroll management amongst others.

The sessions are still ongoing with several physical and virtual trainings for the group’s in Bomet, Kericho, Nanyuki, Mombasa, Kilifi and Nairobi counties. It is key to note that without proper human resources management the women led organisations would have had a hard time working effectively to achieve their institutional objectives.


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April 28, 2022by CREAWKENYA

Across the globe, women continue to deal with discrimination and gender-based violence. Kenya is no exception despite having a constitution that prohibit discrimination either directly or indirectly. UN Women estimates that gender-based violence impacts nearly 40% of Kenyan women. Sadly Women continue to bear the burden of unpaid domestic tasks, which can limit the long-term opportunities for women and girls.

In the workplace, women continue to occupy lower-paid positions with limited opportunities to progress, which increases their vulnerability to harassment and exploitation.

It is on this backdrop that Haki na Usalama project aimed at restoring dignity and justice for survivors of gender-based violence. CREAW in partnership with FEMNET, and Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) has been focusing on a multi-sectoral approach towards addressing rampant violence against women working in tea farms, women out-growers, grassroots women groups, men and youth, County government, and wider GBV state and non-state stakeholders who are key players, to improve the attitudes and behaviour related to women’s and girls’ rights and create viable economic spaces where they can enjoy their rights free from violence.

Through the GBV training using the SASA! model conducted on tea farmers, religious persons, and leaders of women groups, it emerged that cultural practices and traditions, poverty, polygamy, substance and drug abuse, tea bonuses, social protection stipends, and peer pressure were triggers of GBV. Sadly rape, defilement, forced sex, FGM, and wife-beating were the common forms of violence mentioned by participants.

“Sexual harassment has been happening within the tea buying centres. It is only that we did not know what to call it. Occasionally we experience inappropriate physical gestures, particularly tickling of palms while being greeted or even intentional rubbing of the breast while weighing tea,” says *Cherono (Not her real name) who is a tea out-grower in Kericho.

The knowledge gained from the training has enabled the trained champions of change to discuss GBV issues as well as organize for joint awareness sessions to speak to adolescent girls and boys during the school holiday.

“My passion to speak about GBV since I was trained by CREAW has accorded me a platform to speak during chief barazas about the effects GBV has on the development of the community and this has inspired me to speak about prevention of GBV at every chance I get. I am now very important in my community and I have earned the title GBV woman (mama wa GBV)” Shares Margaret from Nyamira county.

The Gender committees are now more robust and targeted in their structures due to the Gender concepts and sexual harassment knowledge training that was conducted by CREAW. The training helped strengthen the Gender Committee in the tea factories which was recently constituted as per Rainforest Alliance Farm standards requirements.

“I feel that it is time for women to take up senior job positions in the tea factories. I believe that our gender committee can achieve this goal. The training has also helped me a lot as a family man. I have learned how to relate better with my spouse and children” says Felix Koskei a tea factory worker in Bomet.

The training also helped the factories identify the Gender-blind actions that need to be reviewed to ensure well-being of all the stakeholders within the Tea sector ranging from its staff, buyers, farmers and suppliers to increase tea productivity while upholding human rights as highlighted within the human resource policy.

 


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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

Kelvin Murori is an epitome of the silent reality of men who go through intimate partner violence. The 30 year old father of 2, had a rough patch in his marriage, to the extent of his wife of 5 years abusing him physically.

In this typical patriarchal society where men shun away from sharing their marital challenges, Murori is defying the narrative and boldly steps out to tell his story.

“ My wife used to beat me when I come home from work without any money. She would get so aggressive to the point of locking me out of the house. I spent nights out in the chicken shed since I did not want anyone to know what I was going through,” Confirms Murori.

The boda boda operator came across Razia Salim a community champion from Wabera ward, who was raising awareness about gender based violence in the community. The message attracted him, which ended up helping him to open up to her.

“ I was invited to join a men engagement meeting. I realized there was a meeting of men in the community who were standing up for the rights of women and girls, as well as mentoring young men to be responsible members of the community,” Says Murori.

Through his continuous engagement and active participation in the meetings, is when it dawned on him that he had not been supportive enough to his wife and children. Unfortunately, he would sometimes spend the little money he made as a boda boda operator in consuming alcohol.

“ He would come home empty handed and expected to find food on the table. I would get frustrated because at that point, I was also struggling to make ends meet for the family. I know what I did was extreme but am grateful to Razia who helped me join a table banking group that has really helped improve the economic status of my family,” Shyly says Pascaline as she confirms her past brutality towards her husband.

The couple now owns 2 motorcycles which have been a great income generation, that has seen Murori provide for his family. His wife Pascaline also started a vegetable vending business  in Kiwanja Ndege and together, the couple is epitomizing strength in unity. The punches and exchange of kicks and blows have been silenced by peaceful hugs and laughter.

According the Men Group in Kiwanja Ndege location is Isiolo county, the greatest challenge women and girls face in the community, is the retrogressive culture of Female Genital Mutilation, which has seen girls drop out of school.

“I have personally protected my grandchildren against the Cut. My girls are survivors but have sworn not to let their children and the next generation from going through the initiation,” says Abdul Haji, one of the elders at the group.

Jeremiah Kaberia is another reformed man in the group. The father of 6 regrets his early years of marriage as he was an absent father to his children. His love for the bottle superseded that of his family to the extent of him being a run-away husband. However, ever since he was introduced to the group, he has turned a new leaf.

“I have started bonding with my children afresh. I now know how they are faring on in school. I have become responsible to family thanks to this group. We have accountability partners who help us stand when we fall,” confirms Kaberia.

Through the Wajibika project, men engagement has been identified as a holistic approach to prevent and respond to SGBV. This is due to the critical role men and boys play in promoting gender equality as well as engaging with multiple systems and stakeholders for gender transformative change that seek to meaningfully engage men and boys to challenge negative notions of masculinity and promote healthy, gender equitable relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

Hezron Chege Ndaki has decided to build his young career around humanitarian work and championing for the rights of women and girls. He is grateful for the opportunity he got at CREAW through the Linda Haki project, where his work under the legal department,  involved drafting pleadings, legal representation as well as mediation where necessary. It is through his diligence that Hezron is back to CREAW mentoring Linda Haki interns in cohort three.

“ My new job entails guiding the new interns that have joined the team this year. I am overseeing the work of 5 interns just to help ease the work pressure that the legal officers have when attending to clients,” Says Hezron.

As an intern he was able to demystify issues around gender based violence as well as family relations. Some of his major highlights this year (2022), has seen him secure a court order, barring a man from evicting his client from their matrimonial home.

“ I got a letter inviting him for mediation but he continued harassing me and the children threatening to throw us out of the house. It is when Wakili advised that we apply for a protection order in court,” narrates *Njoki (Not her real name) as she opines her optimism in getting access to the house she helped build and maintain.

The case is still in court as the two parties have been directed to try and mediate before it gives its direction on the matter.

Another milestone under his sleeve is child custody case. *Penina ( not her real name) had found herself in precarious situation. She had separated from her partner who was the father of her 2 children. The children went to school in an institution where their father was an administrator. Oblivious of the law, he ended up abducting the children, forgetting the mother had full custody of them after their separation.

“ He took the children without my consent. He came home while I was not around and took them away with him. I had to seek for help because one of the reasons for our separation was the physical abuse he meted against me and the children traumatising them even further. I feared for their lives,” Says *Peninah, thanking Hezron and his team for moving swiftly in securing the children.

 

The team went to the children court and booked the matter under certificate of urgency and filed the case in court, serving the perpetrator court orders.

“ He was so shocked that what he did was a crime, thinking he was entitled to the children since he is the father. We enlightened him on the law and he even signed consent to agree in supporting the children’s welfare,” proudly states Hezron.

For Hezron and the legal team at CREAW, having a great workmanship and collaboration has made it easier for them to serve women and girls who seek legal advice as well as psychosocial support, thanks to the Linda Haki project that is steadily increasing access to justice for survivors of GBV.

Poverty has been cited as one of the key contributing factors for hindrance of access to justice for women and marginalised populations living below the poverty line. It is against this backdrop that CREAW in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are implementing the Linda Haki project in Nairobi’s informal settlements, specifically Kibra, Eastleigh and Makadara in Nairobi County.

 


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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

The sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place from 14 to 25 March 2022. However, due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSW66 took place in a hybrid format. All side events and parallel events were fully virtual.

CREAW was honoured to have participated in the side events organised by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). The discussion which focused on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, sought to highlight the effective approaches and progress towards actualisation of women’s and girls’ rights.

Speaking during the event, CREAW’s Executive Director Wangechi Wachira, emphasised the need for continuous collaborations amongst stakeholders, to push for economic justice for women in their places of work.

“ Kenya needs to fast-track the ratification of the ILO convention 190 to address sexual harassment and safe guard the rights of women in the world of work,” said Wangechi fronting for women as being good for business.

The discussions culminated with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) launching its first of a kind private sector gender mainstreaming policy.

According to KEPSA, putting policies in place that encourage women entrepreneurs and expanding women access to capital and networks will help them realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

Chairperson KEPSA, Flora Mutahi said the policy aims to offer guidance to companies and organisations seeking to optimize gender equality and women empowerment initiatives.

“The formulation of this policy demonstrates the private sector’s commitment to ensuring that gender mainstreaming is integral to the policies and operations of an organisation. It is therefore imperative to ensure that no one is left behind in this quest for sustainable growth and development.” said Mutahi.

The launch, which was part of the two-week observance activities of CSW 66, under the theme of Women Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work, was witnessed by  Jebii Kilimo, and Rachel Shebesh, Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) in the Ministry of Gender, Public Service, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes.

 


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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

The Narok county Gender Policy launch brought together gender stakeholders in a colourful ceremony that signified the beginning of change and protection of the interest of the minority groups in the county.

Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde who presided over the launch recognized the policy is a great milestone to the residents as the vulnerable groups like people with disability, women, and youth will be included in all government initiatives.

The policy which was drafted with the help of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) and grassroots organizations with the help of CREAW-Kenya, aimed at providing gender equality and women’s empowerment in national development and decision processes, enhancing the participation of women and men, boys and girls, access to all government services and initiatives without any form of discrimination.

“One of the goals of launching the policy is to ensure the rights and equality of every mother and to help girls avoid circumcision and early marriage,” said KEWOPA’s Mercy Mwangi, who expressed hope for what the policy would do for the county.

The function was held at the William Ole Ntimama stadium and brought together different stakeholders among them Members of County Assembly, women groups, government officials, Non-Governmental organizations and religious leaders.

Ms Christine Lemain, the chair, Gender committee in the County Assembly said the policy is a big plus to women as they will get a chance to participate in the decision making and development of the county.

“The women are not flower girls in the assembly. We are very important because we have to speak issues affecting women, which are many, in the assembly,” she said.

The Nominated MCA reminded that FGM is a crime in the county saying the women who will engage in the retrogressive practice will risk being arrested and prosecuted.

“We want to make it open in this county that FGM, early marriages and child labour are crime in this county. These are some of the issues the police is addressing,” she said.

Narok Executive Member in Charge of Education, Youth and Gender Cecilia Wepali lauded the NGOs that have been in the forefront of developing the policy that will benefit the Narok residents.

She asked women to vie for political seats and compete for other jobs available so that they too can participate in the development of the Nation.

Since the onset of devolution in the year 2013, Narok County has had only the Women Representative elected as a woman, all other elective positions are normally taken by men.


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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

Isiolo became the fifth county to officially launch its very own Gender Policy to help mainstream gender in the county’s policies and processes. The draft of the policy which was introduced to the County Assembly of Isiolo in September 2021 and was unanimously passed by members of the assembly.

The policy was drafted with the support of CREAW and the Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KEWOPA). It has been work in progress for the last four years before this great milestone could be achieved.

According to Isiolo county governor Mohamed Kuti, the policy will promote realizatdion of two-third gender rule by offering equal empowerment opportunities for women, youth and girls, and strengthening already existing institutional structures aimed at eliminating all forms of violence.

“The policy will ensure a just society where all live free of discrimination, violence and marginalisation and enjoy equal rights and opportunities for sustainable development,” Dr Kuti said in a speech read on his behalf by county secretary Dr Ahmed Galgalo.

The gender policy 2021/2025 is a progressive move towards ensuring gender equality and protection of women, girls, and youth in Isiolo.

The law provides a clear framework for the implementation of this policy with concrete measures to prevent Sexual Gender-Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and radicalisation of youth to violent extremist groups.

“Inclusion of women and girls in policy and development processes is critical for a gender-equal society. Beyond the launch, we want to see the implementation fast-tracked to deliver safety nets and progress for women and girls,” said Wangechi Wachira, CREAW-Kenya’s Executive Director

Ms. Mercy Mwangi of KEWOPA stressed on the need for the county government and partners to set aside enough funds to support women and girls.

“There is need for equal access to opportunities and resources for women empowerment,” she said.

Several development partners and civil society organisations committed to support implementation of the policy for better results. Isiolo is the fifth county to come up with a gender policy in Kenya after Makueni, Kisumu, Meru and Migori.

 


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April 22, 2022by CREAWKENYA

Corporal Paul Kamau Mwangi, is a police officer at Nairegi Enkare police station in Narok county, who is a crimes and investigations officer that deals with cases of Gender based Violence (GBV). The broad smile on his face and warm reception is one key element in helping survivors of GBV feel comfortable around him hence easily opening up. However, this was never the case before.

Corporal Kamau has been part of a group of police officers trained by CREAW on handling GBV cases, collection of exhibits and preparation of charge sheets for cases.

“Before we would write charge sheets that were not very clear to the DPP hence hampering the investigation process hence denying justice for the survivors of GBV,” Confirms corporal Kamau.

Globally, 1 in every 3 women face some form of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in their lifetime. In Kenya, data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey shows that 45% of women and girls face a form of gender based violence annually.

CREAW in partnership with UN Trust Fund has supported the development of a tool for professionally documenting cases, collecting data, keying it into a system and analyzing it.

Ever since the trainings, Kamau acknowledges to have never lost a case on grounds  of technicality. The rate of convictions increased since they were able to present watertight evidence against perpetrators.

“One such case of a man who defiled a young girls and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 2021, we had 7 cases in court which are running smoothly with no interference and we hope for a favourable ruling,”

Frequent transfer of police officers from one location to the other, has been one major challenge that Oldonyiro OCS Gilbert Maiyo notes that has been hindering the strengthening of Gender Desks officers.

“It’s imperative to keep on training more officers on matters GBV so as to have a larger population of officers knowledgeable on the topic. As an officer, you can specialize on cases of GBV but need a formidable team to work with, that is equally empowered,” confirms Maiyo.

According to Corporal Kamau, the leading cases of GBV in Nairegi Enkare is Intimate Partner Violence, where out of 60 cases they prosecuted in 2021, more than 20 women were complainants, who reported being assaulted by their spouses. This is closely followed by defilement and rape.

Miles away in Isiolo County, Corporal Benard Omoit has been at the forefront of protecting women and girls. He leads the gender and children protection desk at the Isiolo Police Station. As for Omoit, he attributes a tremendous improvement on handling of GBV cases to training, as well as attending sessions in Court Users Committee (CUC) with various service providers.

“ The committee comprises of various stakeholders in the justice system. That is where we normally meet and iron out hitches and focus on how best we can collaborate and support survivors of GBV access justice,” narrates Omoit.

Thanks to the training, corporal Omoit championed for a specialized Gender Desk that was separated from the crimes and reporting desk, which gave the clients the much needed confidentiality and dignity while reporting vices meted against them.

“As stakeholders, we have been able to reach out to the community through advocacy to break the fear of police by community members hence rebuilding that confidence in the forces,” adds Omoit.

According to a United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, less than 1 in 10 women who seek help after experiencing violence turn to the police, and only a minority of cases of gender-based violence are ever formally reported to the police, with even fewer cases resulting in convictions.

It is to this end that CREAW in partnership with UN Trust Fund, sought to train police officers on sexual and gender based violence cases, so as to protect the dignity of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence by ensuring confidentiality, respect and safety during reporting of cases, as well as collect data on local SGBV trends and use these for effective interventions to advocate for the reduction in the number of SGBV cases. For corporal Kamau and Omoit, these efforts are funning their flame in championing for access to justice for survivors of SGBV as they mentor their fellow police in the crusade.

 

 

 


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April 22, 2022by CREAWKENYA

45-year-old Jane Wangechi Ngoge, has revolutionised her life, from being the down trodden woman who lived from hand to mouth, to a successful entrepreneur, striving so hard to break the glass ceiling of agribusiness in the capital city of Nairobi.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the mother of 3 was having marital challenges with her partner. His meagre income as a mason could not sustain the family comfortably. She started selling samosas by the roadside in her neighbourhood in Kayole, however this was short-lived.

“During lockdown and restriction of movement in the country, my world came crumbling down. My husband left. I had to start doing menial jobs to support my children and I. The jobs were also not easy to come by,” Narrates Wangechi, as she recounts the challenges she went through to ensure she provides basic needs for her children.

It was during her low moment that she was listening to a radio show where CREAW’s toll free number 0800 720 186 was shared for anyone who needed psychosocial support. Luckily for her, she was interrogated and put under the 3 months’ cash transfer program, which sought to cushion families from the adverse effects of COVID-19.

“When I got the first cash transfer of Kes 7,000, I started selling fruits around my neighbourhood. I joined a chama where I was saving Kes 300 every 2 weeks. When I got the second and third instalments, I opened a shop coupled with an M-Pesa agency,” Says Wangechi as she chuckles.

That was never the end for her. Wangechi was among beneficiaries who went through business development training, where women were taught on how to budget, do record keeping as well as finding market for their products.

“Access to information and business skills remain a major challenge to women survivors of GBV. Providing training on financial literacy and life-skills is crucial for efficient use of financial services and products. With the right training, they are able to revive their businesses, acquire productive assets and save for their future plans,” Confirms Moses Okello, the Women Economic Empowerment Lead at CREAW, who has been supporting women under the program rebuild their life post-COVID-19.

With the introduction of Jasiri Fund, the first of its kind financial inclusion program for survivors of gender based violence to access affordable loans, Wangechi took a loan of Kes 90,000, which she used to restock her business as well as hired a motorbike operator who has been supporting her in delivery of goods as well as transportation.

“From the money I had saved in the Chama, I got a dairy cow which delivered recently. I milk 13 litres of milk daily and I sell a litre of fresh milk around my neighbourhood at Kes 70. I also added some chicken, two goats and two pigs.’’

Through the business training she underwent, Wachechi has mastered the art of creating several flows of income. From the milk she sells, she makes roughly Kes 910 daily, whereas the shop has become her other economic backbone. In a good week, she fetches Kes 3600 in profits.

“I am now comfortably supporting my children. My firstborn son joined university recently. I am happy to say that my life feels like a dream come true. I never thought that I could one day run

successful businesses as well as comfortably take care of my family single handedly,” Smiles Wangechi.

She has been comfortably doing her monthly loan repayments of Kes 8,000 per month and looks forward to taking up another loan to help her purchase a piece of land where she will fully venture into agribusiness. From doing menial jobs to now being an employer of 3 staff looking up to her, Wangechi now exemplifies the face of resilience and what a woman can do when economically empowered.