Success Stories Archives - Page 2 of 6 - CREAWKENYA

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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. 


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October 18, 2021by CREAW

Huge win for survivors of sexual and gender based violence as Kenya launches its first ever policy for the National Police Service (NPS) integrated response to gender based violence. Launched on the 13th October 2021, the Policy is intended to steer NPS in the establishment, management and operations of one-stop centers dubbed ‘Policare’ and is intended to provide comprehensive support services including legal, psychosocial support, police and health to survivors of gender based violence (GBV) at no cost.


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July 4, 2021by CREAW

Getting into Kayole, an informal settlement within Nairobi, is not a walk in the park. The place is a beehive of activities, as everyone busies themselves with the hustle and bustle of eking a living. At the Masimba junction, we meet Raphaela Wangari, busy tidying up her shop. She has just received a new stock of eggs to add to what she had. Minutes later, her general store, commonly referred to as a duka, is a swam of activities as clients line up to buy basic commodities found at her shop.


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January 26, 2021by CREAW

We meet Neema* (not her real name) in the informal settlements of Kawangware where she has been living for six months since her husband of 10 years beat her and threw her out in the cold in the wee hours of the night with her two children.

“For the last 10 years I have been married to him, there has never been peace in our home. Occasionally, we would fight even on the slightest provocation,” she says, adding that everything changed when she lost her job; her husband threw her and her two young children out in the cold, and she was left to fend for her children with no income in sight.

Sadly Neema* is not the only one facing domestic violence: her experience mirrors that of many women and girls who are increasingly being trapped with their abusers at home.

With the raging cases of COVID-19 pushing households into economic slumps, women and girls “locked” with their abusers are also finding it difficult to seek safety away from violence marred homes- cutting them off from their supportive networks and resources that could help them.

Like Neema, Kadija ( not her real name) is also another survivor of domestic violence from the informal settlements of Kibera. It has only been a month since she left the shelter where she had sought refuge after receiving constant abuse from her husband that only worsened during the pandemic.

“I am unemployed and depended on my husband. Because of the pandemic, he received a pay cut and we could barely afford to pay for food and rents. Many times we would fight even over minor things. I feared for my life and that of my children,” says 29-year-old Kadija who is now separated with the husband.

As the pandemic keeps raging on, CREAW’s owned hotline-0800720186 has been a buzz with women and girls making frantic calls to report violations and seek legal and referral services. On average, the hotline receives 90 cases in a month, this compared to 20 cases during the same time last year. Similarly, the rising incidences of violence against women and girls have been further affirmed by the data from the National gender based violence (GBV) hotline 1195, indicating a 55 percent surge with women accounting for nearly 70 percent of those cases.

With the pandemic disrupting access to essential support services to survivors of GBV, CREAW, with the support from UNDP Kenya, adapted its intervention in the community during the pandemic to ensure that women and girls- survivors, especially those living in the informal settlements of Nairobi receive the much needed support to heal and build resilience beyond the pandemic.

This includes, free legal information and representation, psychosocial support to help survivors heal from their traumatic experiences. In-addition, CREAW also integrated the survivors to the existing livelihood cash reliefs intervention supported by the European Union in Kenya and shelter services as they reorganise their lives.


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September 15, 2020by CREAW

We meet Cecilia Ekeno at a mentorship session she is having with young girls at the Anti-Poaching Unit Dispensary grounds in Burat Ward, Isiolo County. Here, she is having a heart-to-heart talk with the girls about fundamental human rights, including the right to live free from violence and child marriages. 

“When schools close, we bring girls together in a safe space and talk to them about their sexual and reproductive health owing to the many cases of teen pregnancy that we have been experiencing in this area,” says Cecilia. 

18 year old *Lelerewa present at the mentorship sessions is among the girls whose life changed for the better courtesy of the Inua Mama group.  

When a man well known to her defiled her leaving her pregnant; it is the Inua Mama group that came to her aid, supporting her through psychosocial sessions as she journeyed through the legal corridors. Though it took months before the perpetrator was apprehended, the women ensured that justice was served and perpetrator locked behind bars. 

“After I gave birth to my son, the women paid part of my school fees and bought school essentials,” says the delighted Lelerewa who is preparing sit for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education later this year. 

“Our major challenge however is that the community does not see the need to have girls go to school,” Cecilia says, explaining that such level of discrimination kills the dreams of many young girls.  

She notes that the low value attached to girls schooling is tantamount to killing their future and the cycle of acute poverty prevails. 

In Isiolo, the deeply embedded cultural practices such as FGM, beading (a tradition in which girls are booked or engaged to older for sexual purposes) and child marriages exposes girls to early sexual debut, health risks and domestic violence. 

Cecilia and 18 other members of the Inua Mama group are however working to create safe spaces and communities for girls to go to school and enjoy their full purpose.  

Together with her group, Cecilia is part of the vocal women activists who have been trained by CREAW through the Wajibika Project and are now leading conversations in the community to shift away the norms that endangers the life of women and girls in the community. 

Apart from the off school conversations with the girls, they have also made it part of their mandate to engage parents and local administration officials to make them part of the solution to the change needed for many girls in the area. 

“We realized that we must start the conversations at home then we extend it to the larger community. Our little steps are beginning to cause ripples,” says Cecilia. 

Looking at the bigger picture, the women are concerned that to date the county does not have safe homes to shelter girls who face violence in the community. They say, a gender policy for the county will go along way in streamlining a roadmap that would address the systemic issues that promotes violence against women and girls as well as avail resources to bridge the inequality gap in the County.