Kenya

Nigeria and Kenya Make Huge Strides To End FGM (Thomson Reuters)

5/8/2015 -- Thomson Reuters -- "Nigeria and Kenya Make Huge Strides To End FGM"

"Last Tuesday, Nigeria joined the long list of African countries which have banned female genital mutilation (FGM). This historic moment has come on the back of many years of advocacy from national and international organisations" - Mary Wandia, Equality Now [read more...]

Three men sentenced to 15 and 7 years in jail for the Busia gang rape case (The Star Kenya)

4/13/2015 -- The Star Kenya -- "Three men sentenced to 15 and 7 years in jail for the Busia gang rape case"

Kimberly Brown Legal Consultant, for Equality Now which is one of the organisations that has being following up Liz's case said Monday's sentencing will have a ripple effect across the nation and hopefully the region at large.

#JusticeForLiz: With this conviction, the Kenya we want is within reach (The Guardian)

4/13/2015 -- The Guardian -- "#JusticeForLiz: With this conviction, the Kenya we want is within reach"

Justice has finally been served for a 16-year-old girl who was gang-raped and left for dead in Kenya’s Busia county in June 2013.

The Marriage Act No. 4 of 2014

Sections 2, 3 and 6 of Kenya’s Marriage Act No. 4 of 2014 allow a man to have more than one wife.

Section 2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"polygamy" means the state or practice of a man having more than one wife simultaneously.

Section 3. (1) Marriage is the voluntary union of a man and a woman whether in a monogamous or polygamous union and registered in accordance with this Act . . . (3) All marriages registered under this Act have the same legal status.

Note: 

Article 27(1) of the Constitution of Kenya: Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.

Update: 

PRESS: “SOAWR Strongly Condemns Discriminatory Kenyan Legislation” (11 April 2014) - statement by Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) for which Equality Now serves as the Secretariat

Contact Information: 

President Uhuru Kenyatta
Office of the President
State House
Statehouse Road, P.O. Box 40530 00100
Nairobi
KENYA
Tel: +254 20 222 7436
Fax: +1 212 486 1985 (Mission to the UN in New York)
Email: info@kenyaun.org (Mission to the UN in New York)
Email Portal: www.president.go.ke/pages/contact/
Twitter: @StateHouseKenya
Facebook: www.facebook.com/StateHouseKenya

Kenya: Stop the Violent Attacks on Women - #MyDressMyChoice

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2014 Nov 24
Update: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

25 MARCH 2015 UPDATE: There has been some progress to get justice for women being publicly assaulted in Kenya. In late December 2014, the Security Laws (Amendment) Act of 2014 became law. While there are serious issues surrounding provisions in the law that run counter to protecting human rights, Article 17 criminalizes these strippings. In January 2015, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution brought criminal charges against some of the men responsible for these violent attacks. We continue to monitor these cases as they proceed through the criminal justice system.

As a result of our campaign to address sexual violence against Kenyan women and girls, Supreme Court Chief Justice Mutunga invited Equality Now to join the high level policy making, National Council on the Administration of Justice. Membership on the Council includes judges, prosecutors, police, the Kenya Law Reform Commission and members of civil society who are key to reforming the justice system and ensuring gender equality. We will use the opportunity to hold Kenya accountable to its national, regional and international obligations to prevent all forms of violence against women and to provide adequate resources to address the large scale of gender-based violence.

Thank you for your support.


view as pdf

What You Can Do: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

Join Equality Now, the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition – including the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) and FEMNET -- and Africa UNiTE Kenya Chapter in calling on the officials below to ensure justice for the victims and to promptly address the normalization of violence against women, by:

  • Immediately investigating and arresting all perpetrators of the attacks; urgently deploying police squads to public bus stations to prevent gender violence, including harassment.
  • More aggressively cracking down on those inciting violence and similar attacks on women, whether in public or on social media, pursuant to Section 96 of the Penal Code.
  • Comprehensively and urgently addressing the Kenyan Government’s obligation to combat violence against women, including: community sensitization and awareness campaigns, regulatory action to ensure accountability of bus operators, and necessary legal reforms to strengthen the 2006 Sexual Offenses Act in light of these offenses.
  • Urging the media to exercise caution in sharing the graphic videos of the women being attacked and stripped, as the videos re-victimize and stigmatize the survivors and are emboldening copycat criminals. Ultimately, these videos should be treated as evidence of criminal activity.

Letters should be addressed to:

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Republic of Kenya
P.O. Box 30040
Nairobi, Kenya
@StateHouseKenya, @UKenyatta
info@president.go.ke

Hon. William Ruto
Deputy President
Office of The Deputy President
Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 74434 - 00200
Nairobi, Kenya
dp@deputypresident.go.ke
@WilliamsRuto

Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Harambee Avenue
P.O Box 40112-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
oagpcomms@kenya.go.ke
@AGMuigai

Hon. Winfred Lichuma
Chairperson
National Gender & Equality Commission
Solutions Tech Place, Longonot Road, Upper Hill
P.O.Box 27512-00506
Nairobi, Kenya
info@ngeckenya.org
@NGECKenya

Hon. Keriako Tobiko
Director of Public Prosecutions
Attn: SGBV Unit
Office of the DPP
NSSF Building, 19th Fl
Bishops Road
P.O. Box 30701-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
info@odpp.go.ke
@ODPP_KE

Hon Dr. Willy Mutunga
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of Kenya
City Hall Way
P.O. Box 30041-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
chiefjustice@judiciary.go.ke
@WMutunga

Hon. Isaac Kiprono Ruto
Chairman of the Council of Governors and Governor of Bomet County
Delta House 2nd Floor
Chiromo Road, Off Waiyaki Way
P.O. Box 40401-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
info@cog.go.ke
@KenyaGovernors

Hon. Cecily Mbarire
Chairperson 
Kenya Women Parliamentary Association
P.O. Box 41842 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
info@kewopa.org
@KEWOPA

Mr. Simon Kimutai
National Chairman
Matatu Owners Association
Tumaini House, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 2462-KNH
Nairobi, Kenya
moakenya2003@yahoo.co.uk

Letters: 

Dear ______,

I am deeply concerned about the recent rise in violent attacks and harassment of women in Kenya, and am particularly disturbed by reports of women being stripped, beaten and publicly humiliated for being “indecently dressed.” Much more must be done – and urgently – to prevent such attacks and to systematically address and eradicate violence against women. Women and girls in Kenya have a fundamental right to feel safe in their own communities, whether about town or commuting to and from employment, irrespective of their attire.   

The attacks in Kenya underscore the large scale of gender-based violence that persists in societies around the world, reinforcing a power dynamic that women and their bodies are public property, open for public comment, harassment or worse. Today, we want action from you to address these manifestations of violence against women that robs women of their personal rights and autonomy.

Kenya must uphold the rights of all its citizens and protect women and girls from sexual violence, in line with the 2010 Constitution, the Sexual Offenses Act, the Penal Code, and its obligations under regional and international human rights instruments. As a party to the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, Kenya is required to prevent all forms of violence against women – particularly sexual and verbal violence - and to ensure that adequate resources are allocated towards this obligation.

I join Equality Now, the Solidarity of African Women’s Rights coalition – including the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) and FEMNET, and Africa UNiTE Kenya Chapter in calling for justice for those attacked, ensuring that the survivors are not re-victimized and stigmatized and for Kenyan authorities to aggressively and comprehensively address violence against women. 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

The Courage to Say No (Spirituality & Health)

8/26/2014 -- Spirituality & Health -- "The Courage to Say No" The fight against FGM in Kenya.

Is Kenya finally starting to tackle its sexual violence epidemic? (Thomson Reuters)

7/16/2014 -- Thomson Reuters -- "Is Kenya finally starting to tackle its sexual violence epidemic?" Kimberly M. Brown, AGLDF Consultant, on the onging Justice For Liz campaign:

Kenya: Ensure justice for 16-year-old Liz & all victims of sexual violence

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2014 Jan 22
Update: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

13 APRIL 2015 UPDATE: SUCCESS!! This morning, the Busia courts convicted the three accused for both gang rape and causing grevious harm. They have been sentenced to 15 and 7 years for the respective crimes. Thank you to everyone for keeping up the pressure!

Liz has finally gotten justice and her case will hopefully continue to be a wake-up call for all. We hope that it can also be used to highlight the gaps in policies and procedures. Authorities must be held accountable and we must continue to push for safe environments for girls, where sexual violence is not tolerated and is punished to the fullest extent of the law.


25 MARCH 2015 UPDATE: Liz's trial continued on March 6th and the prosecution rested its case. The trial will resume on March 30th - 31st, during which the defense is expected to present its case.


27 FEBRUARY 2015 UPDATE: Further witness testimony was presented at the 5-6 February court session. The next session is currently scheduled for 6 March, where the prosecution will have additional testimony.


5 DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE: Continued progress! A third suspect was arrested and charged just prior to the latest trial hearing in Liz’s case, which resumed 27 – 28 November (the remaining three suspects will be charged in a new case when they are apprehended). The father of one of the suspects was also charged for helping his son to evade capture. Eight witnesses testified, including the medical expert and Liz, who turned 17 in October. For the purposes of the trial, Liz was deemed a “vulnerable witness” which is a sign of progress towards proper implementation of Kenya’s Sexual Offenses Act – one of our campaign calls. This allowed for victim-sensitive measures, including testifying with an intermediary present, to help protect her dignity and lessen further trauma. The two special prosecutors nominated by civil society continue to be present and participate in the trial as members of the prosecutorial team. The next court session was scheduled for 5-6 February 2015.

On 3 December, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations also resumed their investigation of the additional 70 sexual violence cases from Busia County and Western Kenya compiled by our partners REEP Kenya and IPAS Africa Alliance. This was evidently prompted by a recent Equality Now letter asking for concrete action and a progress update. We have also reached out to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority for an update on the investigation into the conduct of the police officers that mishandled the initial reports made by Liz and her family.


10 OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE: Though Liz’s case has been adjourned until November 2014, progress continues in the case as well as to address sexual violence in Busia County/Western Kenya. In late September the DPP announced that a second perpetrator had been apprehended and placed in juvenile prison. Additionally, in late August specially trained investigators were sent to Busia to begin looking into the 70 additional rape cases compiled by our partners, with several arrests soon following. At the same time, the National Gender and Equity Commission began its own investigation in Busia to better understand the gaps and persistent problems. The Commission held closed hearings with 100s of survivors of sexual violence - many referred by REEP – and also met with magistrates, chiefs, religious officers, government officials and the children’s office to discuss the issue. Equality Now and our partners are greatly encouraged by these positive developments. Please continue to support the #JusticeforLiz campaign!


31 JULY 2014 UPDATE: The trial to obtain justice for Liz began on 24 June with court proceedings subsequently adjourned until 11-12 September. With the beginning of the trial, we are encouraged by the increased responsiveness of government officials to address sexual violence in Busia/Western Kenya arising from the campaign. In June, Equality Now wrote to the Kenyan Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – detailing 70 additional rape cases compiled by our partners, which had not been investigated and/or the identified suspects had not been arrested – to spur them to take action. Less than a month later, the DPP responded to say that he had contacted the Director of Criminal Investigations calling for “speedy and thorough investigations” into the cases; asked for the files to be submitted to his office for appropriate action following the investigations; and, that he had appointed a team from the DPP’s Sexual and Gender Based Violence unit to provide guidance during the investigations.

We are extremely hopeful that this response from senior leadership signals that sexual violence will be taken seriously and handled appropriately in Kenya. Equality Now, COVAW, Avaaz, REEP and the SOAWR coalition thank you for partnering with us on this campaign, and we will continue to update you as the situation progresses.


20 JUNE 2014 UPDATE: Renewed call to Action! The trial for Liz’s case is scheduled to begin on Tuesday 24 June and, though it’s been nearly a year, still only one of the five gang rape suspects has been arrested, despite community reports that the whereabouts of the remaining five are known.

Please help us continue to demand justice for victims of sexual violence in Kenya and raise awareness on the systemic failures to address the problem in Busia County - the site of Liz’s attack and a region with a high prevalence of sexual violence against women and girls.

On Monday 23 June, Equality Now, COVAW, Avaaz, REEP and the SOAWR coalition are holding a rally and community dialogue in Busia, to amplify our call for justice and for authorities to take sexual violence more seriously in Kenya, especially in Busia.

The renewed call and details about the rally are available here – please join us in spreading the word that we’ve had ENOUGH when it comes to sexual violence!


17 APRIL 2014 UPDATE: Progress! We’re pleased to report that following the 8 April hearing, the Director of Public Prosecutions has finally amended and upgraded the charges against all six suspects to gang rape, and issued arrest warrants for the remaining five suspects. The case is set to go to trial on 24 June.

Thank you for keeping up the pressure on Kenyan officials to get justice for Liz and we'll continue to update you as the case progresses. We hope that you will continue to join with Equality Now and our partners in calling on Kenyan officials to ensure that all sexual violence complaints are handled swiftly and appropriately, and that officials are properly equipped to deal with survivors and victims of sexual violence.


28 March 2014 Update: Thank you to the thousands of supporters who have taken action to demand Justice for Liz. Authorities took notice, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions initially issued public assurances that the case would proceed to court without further delay. However, following a hearing on 24 March 2014, it's clear that the authorities still aren't taking Liz’s case seriously. To date, only one of the  six suspects have been arrested, despite reports that their whereabouts are known, and the charge sheet still has not been amended to reflect rape or other crimes of sexual violence under the Sexual Offenses Act. Further, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority has not yet released their investigative report on the allegations of egregious professional misconduct by police officers handling this case, and no lawful action has been taken to address the police failures in this case.

The next hearing is scheduled for 8 April 2014 and we need your help! Please maintain pressure to obtain justice for Liz. Authorities must take immediate action to protect Kenya’s women and girls from sexual violence and to ensure timely access to justice for all survivors and victims.


 

 

 

view as pdf

What You Can Do: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

  • Call on the officials below to take immediate steps to arrest all the remaining suspects so the trial can proceed with them present.
  • Urge Kenya’s criminal justice sector work together more effectively to ensure that the Sexual Offences Act is effectively implemented so that all cases of sexual violence are properly investigated and prosecuted, particularly in the Butula and Nambale sub-counties of Busia County.
  • Urge the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to investigate and report on the allegations of egregious professional misconduct by the police officers handling this case, and to take action against the police failures in this case.
  • Urge the government of Kenya to prioritize the training of law enforcement officials to ensure that sexual violence complaints are appropriately handled and that officials are equipped to deal with survivors of sexual violence by rectifying harmful behaviors that might further distress victims or impede their access to justice.
  • Take part in the #JusticeForLiz social media campaign. Messages can also be re-tweeted from @equalitynow, @COVAW and @FemnetProg.
  • Help us spread the word about this campaign by sharing this Action with your friends.

Letters should be addressed to:

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Republic of Kenya
P.O. Box 30040
Nairobi, Kenya
@StateHouseKenya, @UKenyatta
info@president.go.ke

Hon. Mr. Keriako Tobiko
Director of Public Prosecution
Office of the DPP
NSSF Building, 19th Fl
Bishops Road
P.O. Box 30701-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
info@odpp.go.ke

Hon Dr. Willy Mutunga
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of Kenya
City Hall Way
P.O. Box 30041-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
chiefjustice@judiciary.go.ke
@WMutunga

Ms. Patricia Nyaundi
Secretary to the Commission
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
1st Floor CVS Plaza, Kasuku Rd.
P.O. Box: 74359-00200
Nairobi, Kenya
haki@knchr.org

Independent Policing
Oversight Authority
1st Ngong Avenue,
ACK Garden Annex, 2nd Fl.
P. O. Box 23035 00100
Nairobi, Kenya
info@ipoa.go.ke

Hon. Joseph Nkaissery
Cabinet Secretary
Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government
Harambee House, Harambee Avenue, P.0. Box 30510-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
ps.interior@kenya.go.ke, ps.pais@kenya.go.ke

Letters: 

Dear President/Minister/Governor,

I am deeply concerned about the evidence demonstrating Kenyan authorities’ systemic failure to investigate and prosecute sexual violence cases. I am particularly disturbed by the brutal rape of Liz in Busia County that occurred on June 26, 2013, and the subsequent miscarriage of justice by authorities in Liz’s case. To date, three of the six suspects identified have not been arrested despite reports that their whereabouts are known.

Much more must be done to protect Kenya’s women and girls from sexual violence and to ensure timely access to justice for all survivors. The evidence in Busia in is very compelling, and highlights the prevalence of sexual violence plaguing women and girls, and the tremendous obstacles encountered at every stage of the criminal justice process. There are dozens if not hundreds of cases that underscore just how dire the situation has become.

Kenya’s 2006 Sexual Offences Act criminalizes all forms of sexual violence and the 2010 Constitution entrenches the rights and fundamental freedoms of all. Kenya has also ratified and domesticated a number of human rights instruments that affirm the State’s responsibility to protect women and girls from sexual violence.

I join Equality Now and their partners through the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Coalition - COVAW, FIDA-Kenya, FEMNET, Fahamu and IPAS - in calling for justice for Liz and for all survivors and victims of sexual violence. I urge Kenyan authorities to take urgent action in accordance with Kenya’s international, regional and domestic obligations.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Syndicate content