Kibera Archives - CREAWKENYA

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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.

 



April 12, 2018by CREAW0

Family institutions serve as basis for communal structures yet the scourge of violence between men and women as a result of inequality cultured by the gendered norms seems to tear down structures that build the communities. In the wake of the scourge, women and girls are mostly affected.
It is a tale that Catherine Wangui knows too well; in the wake of the 2007-08-post election violence her cousin was sexually assaulted and their property destroyed leaving them with no house to shelter.
Seeing her cousin go through the rape ordeal and not having the capacity to help opened her eyes to the issues of gender based violence (GBV) and its severity. Her resolve was to find solutions to what was ailing the communities living in Laini Saba village in Kibra.

A community forum on gender based violence in Kibera. PHOTO: CREAW/ Dennis Hombe

“In Kibra the cases of rape and domestic violence seems to be rampant. Communities must be educated to rise above such crimes with adverse effects on women and girls. Violence is never a way of life but a catastrophe,” says Wangui.
Statistics from the UN Women indicates that an estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence perpetrated by an intimate partner or known partners at some points in their lives. Such cases not only affect the health and safety of women and girls but also lead to loss of lives.
The 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey defines gender based violence as any physical, sexual or psychological violence that occurs within the family or general community.
Youth forum on gender based violence in Kibera. PHOTO: CREAW/ Dennis Hombe

Today, Wangui is one of the benevolent anti-GBV champions who uses the SASA Model (community centered approach on behavior change) to sensitize and mobilize communities into action in addressing gender based violence from the household level to the communities.
The SASA! approach implemented in four phases; Start, Awareness, Support and Action aims to inspire, enable and structure effective community mobilization to prevent violence against women and HIV/AIDs. It questions the cultural norms surrounding GBV and ultimately works towards preventing gender based violence and its connection to prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
Community forum in Kibera. PHOTO: CREAW/ Dennis Hombe

The program is being implemented by CREAW in partnership with the Embassy of Finland and additional support from the Jewish World Service (AJWS) . Much of the work entails working directly with community activists to create awareness, challenge the attitudes, behaviours and cultural practices that negatively impact women and girls around five villages of Kibra. The villages include: Lindi, Laini Saba, Makina Kianda and Gatwekera.
“It is important that GBV issues are addressed at the grassroots level where power is the root cause of negative social norms, attitudes and cultures that negatively affect relations between men and women, “explains Aggrey Okan’ga, a community activist from Lindi Village.
Okan’ga notes, “even though the knowledge on GBV exists among people living in Kibra, it is yet to translate into change in attitudes and behaviours of communities. Instead, communities choose to normalize early marriages, domestic violence and child exploitations as common and acceptable practice. The more reason, why we need to sustain the momentum in educating communities to stem such practices.”
Like Wangui, Okan’ga also underwent the capacity building trainings that were supported by CREAW. To acquire the tittles community activists come mentors trained annually and armed with tools that help them to engage communities in conversations that seek to change not just their knowledge but also their attitudes, skills and behaviours which are replicated in what they say and in their actions.
The SASA model works with a network of community activists who are well known in the community and the work that they do. They are regarded as community leaders hence act as the key points of referral on GBV cases across the five villages where the program is being implemented.
To influence change, Okan’ga has been engaging community opinion shapers like chiefs, village elders, religious leaders, women leaders and the youth in community discussions to challenge power imbalances in the family units.
“As activist we reach at least 300 community members per village through the forums. The meetings are structured in such a way that we reach the participants either in their formal or informal settings. Our discussions are normally held in the market place, sports grounds or churches, mosques and schools, and other ‘spaces where small groups of people meet and engage in ‘small talk’ on current affairs and things that they are unhappy about;” explains Okan’ga
“As result of the engagement in the community the number of referrals form the community has improved. We get calls from families in distress, mothers whose children have been affected by sexual violence or those who have marital concerns regarding custody of children,” Pauline Aroko, CREAW Case Officer in Kibra.
Pauline Aroko, Case Officer speaks on the SASA! Model and how it is changing communities. PHOTO: CREAW/ Dennis Hombe

She says the case officers are often called upon to mediate on family feuds and support the warring groups to come to an amicable agreement especially on the care and protection of their children.
“We have also been able to create a good working relationship with the GBV service providers that has efficiently improved the referral system and aided the efficiency in the follow-up of cases and the provision of services to the GBV survivors,” Aroko explains.



September 7, 2017by CREAW0

CREAW has been implementing community awareness and empowerment programmes in Kibera aimed at increasing access to justice for survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) while also involving the police, Provincial administration and community members in a participatory approach aimed at reducing instances of sexual and gender based violence.

Access to Justice – Finland NewsLetter | July – Sept 2017 by Centre for Rights Education and Awareness on Scribd



November 20, 2016by CREAW0

Delegation from Finland joins Kibera women and children in painting a mural depicting the support provided to survivors of Gender Based Violence.
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Embassy of Finland in Nairobi – Suomen suurlähetystö Nairobi Ambassador Tarja Fernández receives a painting from a survivor of Gender Based Violence at Kibera.

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Finland Minister for Development, Mr. Kai Mykkänen painting a mural in Olympic Primary School Kibera against Gender Based Violence. — at Kibera.

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Finland Minister for Development, Mr. Kai Mykkänen receives a painting from Kibera Assistant County Commissioner Said Mwamzungu — at Kibera.