Isiolo County Archives - CREAWKENYA

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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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April 27, 2022by CREAWKENYA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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December 6, 2021by CREAWKENYA

Although Kenya has banned the practice of FGM, it still occurs, particularly amongst semi-nomadic tribes like the Maasai and Samburu. Like in other parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia is a dangerous cultural practice rooted in ideas of modesty, hygiene and ‘purity’. However, FGM often has serious adverse health effects such as lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation, repeated infections which can lead to infertility, life-threatening problems during childbirth and girls even die as a result of the procedure due to massive loss of blood and infections.

Coupled with the FGM ban, Alternative Rite of Passage, best known as ARP training, is slowly beginning to have a positive impact. ARP is a community-driven initiative that retains the cultural celebration of a girl’s transition into womanhood without the ‘cut’, early/forced marriage as well as teenage pregnancy.

It is to this regard that CREAW supported and attended the annual ARP ceremony in Mokogodo, Isiolo county, on the invitation of our community champions in Leparua. In partnership with anti FGM champions in Mokogodo, our champion organized for this anti-FGM graduation ceremony that mimics the actual ceremony albeit devoid of the cutting.

“ARP is a very successful intervention though it needs a lot of funds to implement, if implemented well it has capacity to end FGM. When Kajiado county started ARPs community shied away, people were skeptical but today FGM is least practiced there” Margaret Champion Leparua

In the successful ceremony, 200 girls, 20 from Leparua and 180 from Mokogodo, graduated on the start of the 16 days of activism. In attendance were religious and cultural elders who blessed the new graduates as the highlight of the event. It is believed by speaking the blessings the elders by extent also remove the curse believed to follow girls who remain uncircumcised.

CREAW used the forum to advocate for a zero-FGM campaign and urged the girls to be good ambassadors of the campaign. CREAW staff distributed 200 dignity kits to the girls and pledged to support a bigger event next year that would incorporate Oldonyiro ward.

According to Kenya’s 2014 Demographic Health Survey, only 21 per cent of women in the country were circumcised in 2013, compared with 27 per cent in 2008-09 and 32 per cent in 2003.