Caught on News Archives - CREAWKENYA

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May 2, 2022by CREAW

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 CREAW

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 CREAW

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 CREAW

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 CREAW

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 CREAW

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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January 14, 2022by CREAW

Down the alleys of Leisha neighbourhood in Mombasa county, one of Kenya’s capital city, is where Evelyne Adhiambo Ngoto has set up her water vending business. The industrious 26 year old mother of one, is busy packaging the water into smaller cans for vendors who will collect them later.

Her working area is a beehive of activities. She has just gotten 7,000 liters of water from her supplier and she has to get down to business and ensure all her clients get some water before she closes shop. She is happy to have chosen the best business venture, since Mombasa county is always marred with water shortages making many households depend on her services to access clean water for house hold use.

“ I am always here by 8am after I have dropped my son to school. Most food vendors here are my clients so I have to get here in good time for their sake,” Says Evelyne.

Behind her enthusiastic baritone voice, is a woman who has battled many forces to secure her sanity and peace of mind. The Covid19 pandemic struck at a time when her business was struggling, worse still, she was not in talking terms with the father of her son. They had gone their separate ways.

“I was worried about my son, since I was not in a position to financially cater for his needs. The father was in a position to support the boy but I didn’t think it was his obligation to do so,” Chuckles Evelyne as she explains the steps she took towards finding a solution to her predicament.

The emotional burden weighed her down to the point of seeking counseling to help her cope with the drastic changes in her life. Through CREAW’s toll free line of 0800 720 186, she was able to access a counsellor and went through counselling. However, it was also brought to her attention that the she needed support with the son, hence the boy’s father needed to chip in to support him. A legal officer was assigned to her case to help summon the father of her child for mediation in order to come to agreements of how best they can co-parent.

“He agreed to pay for his education and health expenses. I felt a heavy burden lifted from my chest because I could now focus on reviving the business, which would help cater for our other basic needs like food, shelter and clothing,” Confirms Evelyne.

Like a stroke of luck had fallen on her side, Evelyne was among women who were supported through cash transfer amid the pandemic, to help cushion them from the adverse effects of COVID-19 on business. She was able to buy another 7,000 Liter tank of water and diversified her fresh water vending business.

“I have a bigger space at my shop, I wish to start selling fish and a grocery stall at the side to maximize on capital and the rent am also paying,” Insinuates Evelyne, as she looks to applying for Jasiri Fund, to allow her expand her business.

According to Evelyne, her water and Ice business depends on weather patterns and that on a dry season she makes a combine income of between Ksh 1500 and Ksh 2000, while on a rainy season she makes an average income of Ksh 800.00. She uses the profit to meet her basics needs and that of her son.

While government initiatives encourage enterprise development, most respondents, who participated in a study by the International Centre for Research on Women and Kenya Association of Manufacturers in 2020, reported difficulties in accessing those funds. Instances of sexual exploitation in exchange for credit facilities and compliance clearances were mentioned.

At the moment Evelyne has managed to pick up the pieces of her life and started living by herself, away from her mother whom she lived with when things fell apart. Her clarion call to women facing violence or any form of abuse: Stand up for yourself, there are others fighting for you, don’t let their efforts go in vain.

 

 

 


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January 14, 2022by CREAW

This year as the world marks the 30th anniversary of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV), many women and girls are still grappling with the vice, with one in three women globally still experiencing violence.

Prior to the pandemic, violence was already a daily reality for many women and girls in Kenya with at least 41 percent reporting to have experienced either sexual or physical violence among other forms of GBV.

During the pandemic however, we have seen aggravated levels of violence against women and girls compounded by the preexisting gender inequalities.

Government data shows that GBV cases increased by 92 percent in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Majority of these cases were perpetrated by intimate partners, close family members and persons known to survivors. It is a sequence that continues to go unabated.

It is a concern that Leticia Achieng, a survivor of intimate partner violence believes we must change to create safe households and communities for women to enjoy dignified lives.

In the Kibera settlements where she resides, it is not uncommon to hear screams of women being battered at night, or reports of incidences of women being killed by their spouses and some sustaining serious injuries that maim their lives forever.

“Taking lessons from my experiences, I believe communities must start by changing their mindsets and deal with the systemic inequalities that silences women and girls and enables perpetrators to thrive,” she says.

Across communities, a growing evidence show that gendered norms and power imbalances drives violence against women and girls. Evidently, men hold the preponderance of power in families, communities, work places, institutions and politics. The reality of this power imbalances, means that men are the main perpetrators of violence against women and girls, as well as boys and other men. To shift the narrative, Achieng believes it starts from home.

As a mother of two teenage boys, she says she has been intentional on how she nurtures and brings up her boys from when they were young. She notes that parenting young boys to grow up to men who respect women starts from home.

“I believe, good naturing starts from home and thus education must start when they are young, then they will assimilate the attitudes and actions as they grow up,” says Achieng.

“Bullying has become so rife in schools and parents don’t talk about it. When a child pushes, punches or smacks another, we hail them and excuse their violent behaviours,” she adds, noting that with good role modelling, we can change the path for our children and communities when it comes to addressing violence against women and girls.

Growing up, Achieng says she never saw her father treat her mother with respect. He was abusive to everyone in every way. I grew up knowing women should be submissive to men. The repeated forms of violence I faced made me realize that there is more to life other than being silenced by violence.

“Oftenly we caution women to dress ‘decently’ not to give the wrong impression, reason being, we are protecting them! I believe we must do better. It takes us all to teach our boys about consent and equal treatment of women in all spectrum,” she says.

In Kibera where Achieng lives, CREAW has been engaging communities in conversations to shift the narratives of male violence towards women and girls, issues of rape, defilement, femicide and other forms of intimate partner violence has been more prevalent during the pandemic. Achieng has been attending these community dialogues that she says has empowered her to challenge actions and attitudes that drives violence against women and girls in her community.

In the global arena and even here in Kenya, the wave of #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have amplified the voices of survivors to speak out on abuses and more so the everyday sexism that women and girls contend with at home, in the streets and just everywhere. With such widespread on violence against women, communities must be assertive enough and devise solutions to bring up men who respects and protect women and girls.

“I am raising my boys to respect women and girls but I know, it is not just the responsibilities of mothers but all in the community. I am raising my sons to use their power positively and the importance of equality,” says Achieng.

To address the various forms of violence against women and girls, CREAW continues to initiate and adapt interventions across communities. We are educating women and girls like Achieng to rise up and use their voices to claim their rights and demand for accountability from communities and authorities to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.

 


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October 21, 2021by CREAW

When Center for Rights Educations and Awareness (CREAW) Kenya, spread its wingHaki s to Kitui county to support women and girls facing violence in the community, Dorcas Belinta, a widow and founder of Mosa vision group, was only doing little to economically empower her fellow widows in Kisasi village Kitui Rural Subcounty.  

Luckily, she was among 30 women picked from 14 active women led community based organizations in Kitui county to undergo a training on how best they can support survivors of gender based violence, as well as create awareness in the community regarding the vice. The training which is supported by CREAW in partnership with ForumCIV under the Haki Mashinani project is implemented in Kitui and Nyeri counties. It was based on the SASA model, which addresses violence against women, in community-based approaches and aims at changing the attitudes and behavior of men and women.  

 The four-phase process, developed by Raising Voices in Kampala, Uganda, mobilizes communities for a change in social norms. The primary goal of SASA! is to reduce violence against women and girls by exploring the balance of power in intimate partner relationships and in broader community dynamics. 

 “After the training we had our first community dialogue, where we invited the chief, 3 religious leaders and village elders. It was an open session of learning and unlearning what we thought was right as a community” Says Dorcas. 

 The primary school teacher, was encouraged by feedback she got after the meeting. She would get invited to have a talk in other community dialogues as well as enlighten her students more on issues of sexual and gender based violence. 

 “Previously, Mosa Vision group was doing table banking and outreaches in schools distributing sanitary packs, but now the training has built our capacity in addressing violence against women in the community” Confirms Dorcas. 

 The mother of three is now fixing her eyes on the political scene, as she feels political good will is another key in advancing the gender agenda as well as championing for the rights of women and girls. 

 “I want to be the next woman representative of Kitui County in the 2022 general elections. I understand the plight of widows and want to champion for their rights to own property as well as access property left behind by their late husbands. Widows here don’t have people who enlighten them on their rights” Concludes Dorcas with a smile.

 As a GBV champion, Dorcas notes that there’s an emerging trend of economic violence aside from sexual violence in Kitui County. As a widow, she relates well with women involved in matrimonial property succession and marriage, that were proving hard for them to handle. With her eyes focused on her political ambition, Dorcas is a woman on the move to make it better for fellow women and the next generation of girls. 


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October 19, 2021by CREAW

In 2013, Kenya enacted a Matrimonial Property Act that drew hope for the women of Kenya in their quest to own and inherit matrimonial land and properties. The Act reinforced equal rights as enshrined in the Constitution for both spouses when they own properties together and granted some new rights to women landowners. 

Despite the many monumental gains for individual women in Kenya, pastoralist women still have the long road to walk; their hope of justice to what legally and inherently belong to them is deemed by the cultural traditions and lack of awareness that stops many women from accessing their fair share of land and property, especially in cases of inheritance. 

*Naserian (not her real name) is the youngest wife among three other co-wives, her life has been marred with violence and for along time she did not have a voice in her own home. Her husband beats her up and does not consult her on any issue regarding land or the sale of properties. 

Recently, she met Jane Marsoi a renowned women’s rights activist at a community dialogue-teaching women on their rights and the power inequalities that discriminates on women. There, she learnt that she also had a voice over what concerns her life and that of her family. It is then that she took action! 

“By virtue of their gender, women’s property rights have been trampled- they are never consulted by their spouses when selling land,” says Jane while explaining to us that many women are helpless, it is depicted in the lack of awareness of their rights. 

“I was glad when Naserian approached me to help her; I explained to her the right channels to report to,” Jane adds. 

Naserian says she felt something was a miss when a stranger started farming on the family’s land. On inquiring, she was informed that the husband had sold the land without consulting her. When she confronted the husband, she beats her up till she was unconscious. She spent one week in hospital nursing the wounds. Undeterred, she resolved to explore the legal channel to access matrimonial lands. 

Together with Jane, they approached the area Chief who summoned the husband and gave and injunction to those who had bought the family lands.  

Today Naserian smile is noticeable, she tells us she got her share of the land and is happy that she can farm and provide food for her children and meet other basic needs. 

With the Matrimonial Property Act in Action, women now have equal rights to the land that is bought and sold in their name. In cases of polygamous marriages, each wife now has a right to a portion of the lands. The law also takes into account the non-monetary contribution in marriages- including domestic work, home management, childcare and farm work. 

And as Jane tells us, the teachings that CREAW has accorded the activists in the area have enabled them to brave through the societal ridicules to stand up to the male dominated Council of Elders in a bid to secure women’s rights to properties and transform norms and attitudes that promotes practices like FGM and other forms of gender based violence. 

As part of the Wajibika Initiative supported by the United Nation Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, CREAW works with women-led groups to mobilize and rally communities on women’s rights issues. These includes, raising awareness among communities on the norms that promotes violence against women and engaging authorities to enact gender policies to cater for women’s equality and provide redress mechanisms on gender based violence.