Press Centre Archives - CREAWKENYA

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September 23, 2020by CREAW

We, the undersigned Women, Women Associations, Women Rights organizations and Gender Equality Advocates in Kenya, being representatives of women in all their diversity including grass root and rural women, women in the informal settlements, women in Business, Women in Professional Bodies and in all Associations and organizations have taken note of the Action taken by the RT. Hon. Chief Justice , David Maraga issued Monday, 21st September 2020 to His Excellency, the President Uhuru Kenyatta in respect to the dissolution of Parliament for its  failure to enact legislation to implementation of the two thirds gender rule as provided for in Article 10 (2), Article 27(6) ; Article 81(b) and Article 100 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

The women of Kenya stand in solidarity with the action taken by the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice on dissolution of parliament. The action by Rt. Hon. Chief Justice is timely and takes cognizance of the challenges that women have faced and continue to face in our quest for inclusivity and equality.

We further note that it is the responsibility of each one of us to remain accountable to our Constitution and the Rule of Law.

We further affirm that the drafters of our Constitution were alive to the patriarchal challenges and difficulties in promoting women’s political leadership and representation in our country.

We note the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice’s decision has taken cognizance of the numerous attempts by Parliament to provide a mechanism for actualizing the gender provision anchored in the Constitution. On all these occasions, Parliament has failed to reach a decision and demonstrated a lack of good will and respect for the rule of law.

We note that by advising, H.E. the President to dissolve the 11th  Parliament, Rt. Hon. Chief  Justice has acted within the bounds set out in the law, and as espoused in Article 261(7) and in furtherance of our democracy and the rule of law.

The women of Kenya are in full support of the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice’s insistence that the Country must hold everyone accountable for their actions or lack thereof. This is as it should be.

We further highlight the four (4) Court Orders that have been issued directing Parliament to implement the two thirds gender rule within clearly specified time lines. We acknowledge the efforts and attempts that both houses of Parliament have taken on the matter. However, we note that these attempts have not resulted to any outcome as envisaged in the Constitution.

We regret the push-back and voices from Parliament that are misleading Kenyans with the false narrative that the ‘two thirds gender rule: Is not part of the mandate of Parliament; that there is no mechanism to implement this provision; and that it is too costly to implement the two third gender rule.

We note that all these narratives are misleading and point to the challenges that we have encountered and have had to endure with parliament in our attempts to push for enactment of a mechanism for the implementation of the two thirds gender rule.

While women welcome the attempts in Parliament to implement Article 100, we wish to point out that this does not in any way provide for the implementation of the two thirds gender rule as it only deals with limits its focus to the existing seats in Parliament.

We reiterate that the spirit of our Constitution envisages an inclusive Kenya in which all citizens including women, youth, persons with disabilities and other marginalized categories have equal opportunity to socially, economically and politically participate fully in the affairs of our country.

We note that the crisis the country finds itself, unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, is self-afflicted and hence its solution is within our reach.

We further reiterate that Implementing the Constitution of Kenya 2010 in its entirety including the two thirds gender rule is a matter of great interest to all Kenyans. Unfortunately, this crisis did not happen yesterday and has been with us for the last ten years.

We emphasize that the time has come for Kenya to entrench constitutionalism and the rule of law. The hall mark of a democracy is its adherence and fidelity to the Rule of Law and Separation of powers between the various arms of government.

We note that the Two Thirds Gender Rule is not about giving seats to women but it is about creating an inclusive and sustainable society in furtherance to its commitment to the SDGs, the Agenda 2063 and the Vision 2030.

We note that while Kenya has made some great advancements in promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality, the country is lagging behind other countries including Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia and Senegal among others who have embraced gender quotas. Kenya is a leader in many respects except in this area of women’s representation.

We stand on the various promises that His Excellency, the President has made to the women of Kenya including his commitment to ensure that Kenyan women enjoy full political, social and economic rights. Mr. President, the Judiciary and parliament have done their part. The ball is now squarely in your court.

We are confident that H.E, the President will assert himself on this matter and provide leadership that will move this Country forward and entrench Constitutionalism.

Finally, we note that all women and men are equal and it’s the obligation of the leadership to ensure that its citizens enjoy all the rights as guaranteed in the Constitution.


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April 25, 2020by CREAW

his appeal raises novel questions of law on whether vicarious liability can be attributed to the appellant, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) who at the material time had employed Astorikoh Henry Amkoah, (3rd respondent hereinafter referred to as “teacher”) for alleged acts of sexual abuse against the students hereinafter referred to as “WJ” and “LN”).


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January 31, 2020by CREAW

Source: Daily Nation

By Moraa Obiria

Teen pregnancies among school girls is a worrying phenomenon in Kenya. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), notes that 378,397 girls aged 10 to 19 got pregnant between June 2016 and July 2017.

Similar data by Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, indicates that about one in every five adolescent girls has either given birth, or is pregnant with her first child.

Notably, in November 2018, Kilifi County Children Affairs department released shocking statistics. They recorded 13, 624 pregnancies among girls aged 15 to 19 years in the past one year.

Incidents of deliveries among girls, during Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), often surface.

The same year, the Ministry of Education reported at least 50 cases of pregnancies during KCPE. Kitui County presented a classical scenario with a report of 100 pregnancies during KCSE.

Last year, a similar trend was reported in Bomet County during the KCSE with at least 12 pregnancies.

Across Africa, the structural systems are inflexible and inconsiderate of the burdens of adolescent mothers seeking to return to school.

As at 2018, 15 countries had re-entry policies for the girls, but the conditions set for the re-entry are repulsive.

The countries include Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique. Others are Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe

In Malawi, girls are suspended for one year the moment their pregnancy is known, according to a2018 Human Rights Watch report on discrimination of adolescent mothers’ discrimination in access to education.

There are conditions set for the young mothers to apply for re-admission. She must send a request to the Ministry of Education and the school she intends to join, as noted in theLeave No Girl Behind in Africa Discrimination in Education against Pregnant Girls and Adolescent Mothersreport.

In Zambia and Gabon, girls have a better chance of continuing with their education. The countries have policies privy to their additional needs. They ensure primary and secondary education is free; the girls have time to breastfeed, and can choose morning or evening classes. They also have nurseries and day-care centres close to schools where their babies are sheltered while they attend classes.

In Kenya, a proposed law on supporting girl-child parents to complete their education after childbirth is still pending in the Senate.

Care and Protection of Child Parents Bill

The Care and Protection of Child Parents Bill (2019) proposes a framework for ensuring girls such as those in Kilifi and Kitui are granted care and protection by the national and county governments to actualise their right to basic education while ensuring the care of their children.

The Bill sponsored by nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, mandates the national government through the National Council for Children’s Services to “address any educational and related barriers faced by pregnant and parenting students.”

The Council would also be required to “guarantee funding and sustainability of the initiative and other child welfare programs aimed at benefiting child parents.”

There is also a proposal that county education boards and county executive committee members for education collaborate in establishing “programs to ensure expectant children and child parents have access to education services.”

And that “academic support programs that ensure students with extended absences for reasons related to pregnancy and parenting, are able to enrol back to school or other education facility to access education services.”

The Bill has been reviewed by Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, with the report being tabled in the House in November last year.

It would require National Assembly backing to become law. Upon approval by the Senate, it would be sent to MPs, before the Speaker of Senate forwards it the President to assent to it.

Long-term solution

Addressing pregnancies among the school girls is, however, not just about institutional structures with financial support, argues Dr Emmanuel Manyasa, an education analyst and Executive Director of Usawa Agenda.

“We have to be careful with giving financial support as it may end up being an incentive for pregnancy,” says Dr Manyasa who spoke to the Nation on phone.

He says allowing girl-child parents back to school must be accompanied with a long-term solution.

“Needy girls end up pregnant as a consequence of poverty. The girls must be freed from poverty to avoid repeat pregnancies.”

Ms Isabella Mwangi, of Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) underscores a multi-pronged approach to ending teen pregnancies.

She says the government, parents, teachers, religious institutions and community elders play a critical role in creating safe spaces for advancement of school girls.

Ms Mwangi says the government and religious institutions must agree on the introduction of sex education in schools, since sexual relations among teens is a reality that cannot be ignored.

She identifies recreational centres near schools as fertile grounds for luring girls, and the government ought to eradicate them.

She says parents must be responsible for teaching their girls and boys about their sexuality.

“Parents must nurture their children to know that they have a purpose in the society. Talking to their children is a responsibility they must not abdicate to anyone,” she notes.

While emphasising on role of community elders as custodians of cultural traditions, Ms Mwangi says they must be involved, as their influence in spearheading anti- retrogressive practices campaigns would lead to drop in teen pregnancies.


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January 20, 2020by CREAW

Source: Daily Nation

By Kamau Maichuhie and Moraa Obiria

The changes in government announced on Tuesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta have raised a ray of hope for a gender balanced public service.

In the fresh changes, Mr Kenyatta appointed Betty Maina as Industrialisation Cabinet secretary and 15 new chief administrative secretaries (CAS) — eight are women.

The nomination of Ms Maina raises the number of women in the Cabinet to seven. They are Amina Mohamed (Sports, Culture and Heritage), Margaret Kobia (Public Service and Gender) and Farida Karoney (Lands and Physical Planning).

Others are Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Sicily Kariuki (Water) and Monica Juma (Defence).

The CAS include Rachael Shebesh, Maureen Magoma and Winnie Guchu. Others are Wavinya Ndeti, Linah Jebii Kilimo, Ann Martha Mukami, Mercy Mukui, Mumina Bonaya and Nadia Ahmed Abdalla.

However, pundits say seven women in a 21-member Cabinet is still far from achieving gender equality compared to other countries in the region such as Rwanda and Ethiopia.

QUALITY IS IMPORTANT

Mr Chryspin Afifu, a gender and governance policy adviser, however told the Nation that the changes are a win for women in their quest for gender parity in public service.

He said the new appointments raise the ratio of women in the Cabinet to 30 per cent.

“We need to see a lot of policies being put in place among them women and sports, water, women and lands and property rights, employment in Middle East countries where reports of women being mistreated continue to come in,” he said.

Mr Afifu added that the push for gender parity should not only be pegged on numbers, but also on whether the women will do a good job.

Kenya has made progress in appointing women to powerful Cabinet positions. However, the Treasury seems to be still under the men’s stranglehold.

Since 1963, no woman has been appointed to head the ministry even as the country inches closer to achieving the two-thirds gender parity in Cabinet composition.

POWERFUL DOCKETS

Prior to 2013, the ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Commerce — considered powerful dockets — were headed by men.

In his first Cabinet appointments, Mr Kenyatta took a laudable step towards the constitutional requirement of two-thirds gender representation by opting for women to head these crucial ministries.

Raychelle Omamo made her maiden entry into the Cabinet as CS for Defence. Foreign Affairs was handed to Amina Mohamed while Phyllis Chepkosgey headed the East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism.

Women have held the substantive ministries of public service, education and health in succession. And now Water and Industrialisation ministries would be held by women should Parliament approve their appointment.

Still, men have a firm hold on Finance. Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa with a $376.3 billion gross domestic product (GDP), has had three women running the Finance ministry consecutively since 2011.

Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala headed the ministry between 2011 and 2015, handing it over to Kemi Adeosun, who in 2018 passed on the mantle to Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the incumbent.

RWANDA LEADS

Other 16 countries in Africa with past or present female Finance ministers include Tanzania, Uganda, Liberia, the Gambia, Namibia, Togo and Mozambique. Others are Zambia, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Burundi, Chad, Benin, Lesotho, Guinea and Tunisia.

Mercy Jelimo, an officer at the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness-Kenya, said women are capable of holding powerful positions, adding that time was ripe for the President to entrust them with the responsibilities.

She said that the appointment of seven women to the Cabinet is good progress considering Kenya’s history of marginalising women in leadership.

Rwanda is one of the countries in Africa with the most gender balanced Cabinet as women form half of the 26-member Cabinet.


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June 23, 2019by CREAW0

The Strategic Plan outlines CREAW’s vision and ambitions and key interventions for achieving them. The choices contained  in the Plan are largely informed by the lessons learnt, conclusions and recommendations from the analysis of CREAW’s operating context. Drawing from lessons learnt from our past practice, and building on our track record, this Strategic Plan seeks to effectively position CREAW within the emerging operating context as a basis of ensuring greater relevance and effectiveness. The Plan sets out broad parameters that will guide the development of more specific annual work plans and program documents.

CREAW will continue its work towards elimination of gender inequality and all forms of discrimination against women and girls. This is based on our philosophy that empowering women demands that we address unfair cultural norms and attitudes, enhance competencies of women and their institutions and advocate for the development and implementation of progressive legal, policy and institutional frameworks that promote/sustain gender equality.

This strategy is the outcome of a co-creation process between the CREAW Team and several stakeholders. We deeply appreciate their contribution to this process. We especially wish to extend sincere gratitude to our board members, partners and peers for the moral, financial and material support accorded to us during the Strategic Plan development process.
CREAW Strategic Plan — Abridged Version


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March 29, 2019by CREAW0

At the core of the Constitution of Kenya (COK, 2010) is the belief that there can only be real progress in society if all citizens participate fully in their governance, and that all, male and female, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and all previously marginalized and excluded groups are included in the affairs of the republic.



September 27, 2018by CREAW0

The recent occurrences of the killings and wanton loss of lives in unclear circumstances of women and girls is horrifying and a determinant of lack of respect to the constitutional provisions of respect to human life. Women and girls like many other citizens ought to be valued and not subjected to the grievous acts that endangers or take away their right to life as we have seen in the recent weeks.
We take note of the recent gruesome murder of Monica Kimani in her Kilimani apartment. Her killing adds up to the numerous cases of killings of women and girls that have been witnessed across the counties. On September 4, Kenya woke up to the news that the body of Sharon Otieno, a Rongo University Student was found dumped in Kodera Forest, Homabay County. She was heavily pregnant at the time.
On September 6, Maribel Kapolon a 9 years old daughter of the Githongo Court Senior Margistrate Caroline Kimei was abducted and subsequently murdered in unclear circumstances. Even though two suspects are in police custody, nothing much has been done by the police to unearth those who killed her. In Meru County specifically, such killings are not new to residents, the abductions in broad daylight and subsequent killings have become the order of the day. A week before Maribel’s body was found in Gitoro forest, a 10-year-old boy was struggled to death in Karama, Tigania West. On September 16, a middle-aged woman’s body was discovered in the same area with some body parts missing. This demonstrates heightened cases of insecurity across the country. We consider this as intentional killings against women and girls.
The Center for Rights Education and Awareness has noted with great concern the repetitive nature into which this killings are conducted and despite the complaints being registered with the police immediately there seems to be laxity among the security organs is in dealing with such cases. As an organization that prides itself in the protection of the rights of women and girls and in the promotion of a society free of violence against women and girls, we say enough is enough.
CREAW therefore demands the following:
1) THAT the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet, Director of Criminal Investigations, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution act with speed and ensure the killings are pursued to conclusion and the culprits apprehended.
2) THAT the Chief Justice David Maraga together with all relevant arms of the government of Kenya recognizes gender based violence as a cancer in our society and proceed to set up special courts to prosecute cases of gender based violence.
3) THAT the Judiciary as the custodians of justice continues to prioritize gender based violence cases and meet out strict sentences in accordance to the Sexual Offences Act and other statutes.
4) Finally, we ask that all Kenyans continue to hold sacred the rights provided by our Constitution and speak out against gender-based violence whenever it occurs in our society. We must all assume responsibility to end all forms of violence against women in Kenya. That we will come out to strongly condemn such acts whenever they arise.
As CREAW we remain vigilant in the call for justice not only for the families affected but also to the departed souls. Such grievous killings meted on women and girls must not be accepted in our communities. As a country, we have a duty to preserve the life of every citizen regardless of his or her gender, race of social status. We extend our deepest condolences to the families affected. We will lend our support to ensure justice is done.
Wangechi Wachira
Executive Director, CREAW
For more information, please email us on [email protected]



May 28, 2018by CREAW0

Our attention has been drawn to the defilement incident that took place at Moi Girls High School, Nairobi on the June 2. The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) condemns in the strongest terms this heinous and barbaric act meted on girls from the school. Acts of defilement and other sexual offences are a violation of human rights and as such must never be accepted in our schools.
The alleged defilement incident adds up to the traumatic fire incident that happened late last year leaving nine students dead and scores injured. No one has since been held liable for the fire and the deaths that followed at the Moi Girls High School. Institutions of learning have a duty of care and protection of learners and must provide a safe space where girls are able to exercise their right to life and quality education without any harm.
The school administration, the Teachers Service Commission, the Ministry of Education as well as the Interior Ministry should take responsibility for the glaring loopholes in the school’s security system. We call on concerned institution to fast-track investigation and ensure that those responsible are brought to book and that justice is done to the survivor and her family.
We take cognisant of the swift action taken by the Minister for Education to shut down the school for a week to pave way for investigation however this is not enough as the defilement case raises more questions than answers. CREAW stands together with the survivors of the alleged defilement and their families and will lend its support to ensure that justice prevails for all the girls who are survivors of this alleged offence.
About CREAW
The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) is a feminist national non-governmental organisation founded in 1999 with a mission to champion, expand and actualise the rights of women and girls. Since its inception, the organisation has worked around interventions aimed at to creating public awareness on the rights of women and provision of free legal aid and psychosocial support to female survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
Wangechi Wachira
Executive Director,CREAW
 



April 19, 2018by CREAW0

Gender Based Violence is a gross violation of human rights and should never be accepted or normalized. The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) condemns in the strongest terms the assault witnessed at the Kiamariga Police station as seen on videos being circulated on various social media platforms and the mainstream media reports.
The information reaching CREAW and as seen on the video indicate that these heinous acts were committed in the presence of Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua and various police officers who seem not to be moved by the assault on the Observer – Martha Miano allegedly by the County Development Fund driver and therefore took no action! Such occurrence is regrettable from public officers who are under oath to carry themselves with honor and integrity.

We take note that this incident is not a unique case and that such incidences of violence against women continue to be on the rise. A recent report by GVRC indicates that over 4,000 cases of violence were reported in 2017. This acts dehumanize and take away the dignity and respect of our women. Therefore, the magnitude of the problem cannot continue to be ignored.
As an organization working to protect and promote the rights of women as enshrined in the Constitution, we strongly rebuke the savage and violent treatment accorded to Martha Miano. We therefore call upon the IEBC, Inspector General of Police and the Director of Public Prosecution to condemn this criminal act and take appropriate action immediately.
The Inspector General of Police should also ensure that Martha Miano is well protected while the perpetrator is out on bail.