For Immediate Release
8 March 2021
The theme of this year’s International Day, Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, recognizes the importance of enabling women and girls to participate fully in leadership and decision-making.
But progress towards this goal is undermined by gender-based violence. Data from CREAW shows that by the end of 2020, cases of violence against women and girls in across the 10 counties in Kenya had risen by 64%. The National Crime Research Center report 2020 shows a 92% increase in cases of Gender Based Violence between January and June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
With support from the Mastercard Foundation, the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), GROOTS Kenya, and the Center for Collaborative Gender and Development (CCGD) have been working to address the challenge by providing access to legal aid, psycho-social support, and shelters, as well as connecting women to economic opportunities. To date 10,019 women have received direct services.
Still, much remains to be done. Too many women continue to lack access to these types of services, often due to socio-cultural barriers.
“As a consortium we recognise that almost a year after Kenya declared it’s first case of the Coronavirus, countless number of women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by the increasing cases of GBV, loss of income and unequal domestic caregiving as they bear the brunt of harsh economic and social fallout during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wangechi Wachira, the Executive Director CREAW
To reach additional women, the consortium will soon be launching the Jasiri Fund, the first of its kind in Kenya, to provide financial support to survivors of GBV. The Jasiri Fund, part of the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Response and Resillience program, is being piloted in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Kakamega, Busia, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Kajiado and Mandera counties. It will provide affordable business loans of up to Ksh 500,000 to 1000 women and girls who are survivors of GBV. The loans are expected to enable women to recover and build their economic ventures beyond the pandemic—giving them the freedom and opportunity to take up the mantle of leadership .
“A desirable society is where young girls and women enjoy safe spaces and are part of decision making and development in their society,” said Santa Kagendo, Gender Champion.
About the Center for Rights Education and Awareness
Founded in 1999, the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) is a national feminist organization driving change for equal societies in Kenya. We place women and girls at the center of our actions to end inequality and realize social justice. We question political, social, economic, legal, cultural and religious structures that silences the voices and agency of women and girls in Kenya.
CREAW envisions a just society where women and girls enjoy full rights and live in dignity. We believe in the equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available for every woman and girl. We stand for, ensuring women and girls have Power, Voice and Agency. For more information on CREAW, please visit: www.creawkenya.org
About the Center for Collaborative Gender and Development
Collaborative Center for Gender Development (CCGD) was established in 1996 by a small group of academics, researchers and development experts to build capacity in gender responsive planning, advocacy and programming. CCGD has grown into a dependable policy research and advocacy resource organization with program presence at county, national and regional levels. CCGD seeks to promote gender responsive capacity building and institutional development of all sectors in planning, budgeting, programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. For more information on CCGD, please visit: www.ccgdcentre.org
About GROOTs Kenya
GROOTS Kenya Association is a duly registered under section 10 of the Societies Act in Kenya as an association of 3,500 community-based organizations (CBOs) that are women led. GROOTS Kenya was formed in 1995 as a response to the inadequate visibility of grassroots women in development and decision-making forums that directly impact on them and their communities. GROOTS Kenya’s mission is to facilitate grassroots women and girls effective engagement in development through movement building, leadership and advocacy. For more information on GROOTS Kenya, please visit: www.grootskenya.org
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
For more information please contact:
Center for Rights Education and Awareness
0724961386, [email protected]
0722837840, [email protected]
Center for Collaborative Gender and Development
0703790950, [email protected]
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
+27 76 166 5372, [email protected]
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.
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”).
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
In light of Ivy Wangechi’s murder and in solidarity with all the victims of femicide in Kenya, we wish to state the following;
Our condolences go out to the families, friends and all those who knew Ivy Wangechi. Her killing comes at a time when Kenya is grappling with high prevalence of cases of femicide perpetrated by men; such must never be tolerated in the society. The Bill of Rights protects human life and no reason whatsoever justifies the wanton killings targeting women witnessed across counties.
The normalization of violence by Kenyans on social media and other public spaces is a dehumanization of the victims and is insensitive to their legacy and the trauma of those affected; family, friends and by extension, the women of Kenya. Further, it creates a culture of victim shaming and blaming which permits violence to thrive. Love is not equal to death (#Love≠Death). This has to come to an end.
Femicides, should not be normalized, there has to be deliberate action by all Kenyans to end violence against women. We call on the President of Kenya to declare femicide and other forms of Gender Based Violence a national disaster and commit to addressing it. We also call upon the Director of Criminal Investigations to speed up investigations in all ongoing femicides cases and bring perpetrators to book.
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.
Executive Director, CREAW
For more information, please email us on [email protected]
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.
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.
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.
Nairobi, Kenya, February 21, 2018: Katiba Institute representing Marilyn Kamuru, Daisy Amdany and Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) filed a case to safeguard the rule of law, constitutionalism and safeguard against the slide into state sanctioned anarchy.
The case highlights the violation of established law that requires that all State officers and organs have limited authority and may legally act only in accordance with the Constitution. Relying on a prior decision of the High Court in Petition 566 of 2015 which determined that the Cabinet was unconstitutional, null and void effective August 2017, the case argues that The President failed to observe the law by following the process for appointing Cabinet.
That the actions of the President in nominating and appointing Cabinet was beyond his constitutional authority as provided in Articles 1, 2, 3, 129(1), 132(2) and 152(2), and as such per Article 2(4) these acts are invalid. That the actions of the National Assembly in approving a partial list of nominees in the knowledge that their approval would result in an unconstitutional Cabinet (one in violation of 27(8), were beyond their constitutional authority as limited in Articles 1, 2, 3, and 93 which requires the National Assembly must act “in accordance with this Constitution”.
The case seeks orders that the ultra vires actions of the President and National Assembly are declared unlawful with no legal effect, and further orders to restrain all members who hold State office through these illegal actions from exercising state authority. The case also seeks orders requiring the President to legally constitute a new Cabinet in compliance with the Constitution and all applicable law.
This case is important to every Kenyan because it seek to affirm the Constitution which provides that neither State Officers nor State Organs have unlimited authority in Kenya or over Kenyans. That the exercise of any State officer or Organ outside of the constitutionally allowed authority is illegal. That the exercise of State authority is not available to persons who have acquired State office illegally, or through a violation with the applicable law and processes for eligibility, approval and appointment.