Discrimination and violence against women in Kenya is widespread due to men holding positions of power (known as patriarchy) and women’s traditional role in society.
Female leaders are often isolated in politics due to the negative belief that women are incapable of leadership. Women leaders face barriers to participating in decision-making, at both local and national levels. This prevents them from effectively voicing the needs and concerns of Kenyan women.
Domestic violence, rape and harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation are common. Even though the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has improved women’s rights many women still have limited access to justice and are unaware of their rights or legal position.
And although a new quota for women’s political participation provides opportunities for female leadership and promotion of women’s rights, women leaders need support and skills to be able to participate effectively.
Women’s rights in Kenya
- 37% of women have experienced physical violence from a partner, while 17% have experienced sexual violence (Source: UN Women 2011-2012)
- 10% of seats in Parliament are held by women (Source: UN Women 2011-2012)
Supporting women in Kenya
We are working with two women’s rights organisations, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) towards:
- Improving access to justice for women survivors of violence
- Increasing women’s political participation
Making a difference
Through the work of our partners, in 2012-2013 we raised awareness among 5,000 people on women’s rights and violence against women.
- 1,859 women survivors of violence have received support from legal aid services
- 79 women peer counsellors were trained on psycho-social support and reporting violence against women, enabling them to act as pillars of support and points of contact for women survivors of violence
- 35 women leaders have been trained to voice the needs, priorities and interests of women
- 4,000 women have been educated by 35 female leaders about women’s rights
“Nothing is impossible, the problem is learning how to do something. FIDA-Kenya showed me how to represent my case in court and I won. I am so happy.” – Anita, participant