Sexual violence

Kenya: Stop the Violent Attacks on Women - #MyDressMyChoice

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2014 Nov 24

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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:

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. David Kimaiyo
Inspector General of Police
National Police Service
Jogoo House ‘A’, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 44249 – 00100
Nairobi, Kenya
kimaiyodm@ymail.com
knfp.info@gmail.com
@IGkimaiyo

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. Joseph Ole Lenku
Cabinet Secretary
Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government
Harambee House, Harambee Avenue
P.0. Box 30510-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
joelenku@gmail.com
@joelenku, @InteriorKE

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,

Suad Abu Dayyeh on sexual harassment in Egypt (LA Times)

7/16/2014 -- LA Times -- "Egypt imprisons nine men, most for life, in sexual assault case" Middle East/North Africa Consultant for Equality Now Suad Abu-Dayyeh on sexual harassment in Egypt:

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:

Nigeria: #BringBackOurGirls

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2014 May 9
Update: 

TAKE ACTION NOW TO #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS!

8 OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE: In July, the Nigerian Ministry of the Interior responded to our letter calling for increased efforts to rescue the abducted Chibok school girls and to eradicate terrorism (read letter here). However, despite declarations of behind the scenes efforts, international collaboration, and increased security measures, six months have passed and not one girl has been rescued. To date, 219 girls are still missing, and the 57 girls who escaped, did so on their own. In fact, Boko Haram has abducted additional girls, women and boys since April.

We have taken the issue up using various United Nations and African Commission human rights procedures and continue to keep the discussion going on our networks. On 13 October – following the 11 October international recognition of the Day of the Girl Child -- Equality Now, the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition (SOAWR) and FEMNET, will hold a solidarity vigil to mark six months since the girls’ abduction. The vigil will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, bringing together civil society, expert guest speakers and artists. In addition, 11-18 October will be Global Week of Action. We are not giving up on the girls and we hope you will do the same. Please renew the call to hold the governments accountable and to keep global attention on the issue. Thank you for your support.


TAKE ACTION NOW TO #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS!

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What You Can Do: 

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

Please join Equality Now and our Nigerian partners, WRAPA, Echoes of Women in Africa, Women for Justice and Peace, and Alliances for Africa, in urgently calling on the Government of Nigeria to: 

  • Take immediate action to locate and rescue the girls and provide them with support services upon their return
  • Prosecute those responsible for the girls’ abduction and exploitation
  • Take steps to protect schools from attacks so that they are safe places to learn
  • Immediately institute, in consultation with women’s rights organizations, measures to protect the safety and human rights of women and girls throughout Nigeria, which are further endangered by the volatile political situation in the conflict areas

Additionally, call on the Governments of Cameroon and Chad to swiftly determine whether the girls were transported into their countries and to assist in their rescue.

(You can also re-tweet and share messages from our Twitter or Facebook pages in the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign.)

LETTER #1

H.E. President Goodluck Jonathan
President of  Nigeria
Aso Rock Presidential Villa
Abuja, Nigeria
cc: Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations
Email: permny@nigeriaunmission.org

Comrade Abba Moro
Minister Of Interior
Block F, Old Secretariat, Garki Area 1, PMB 7007, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
Email: info@interior.gov.ng

Aliyu Gusau
Minister of Defense
Ship House, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
Fax:  +234 9 234 0714

Mohammed Bello Adoke
Attorney General
Federal Ministry of Justice
Shehu Shagari Way, Central Area
Abuja, Nigeria
Telephone: +234 9 523 5208
Fax: +234 9 523 5194
Email: info@justice.gov.ng

Hon. Aminu Tambuwal
Speaker of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Nigeria
National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zone
Abuja, Nigeria
Email: hon.aminu.tambuwal@nass.gov.ng
Twitter: @SpeakerTambuwal

Hajiya Zainab Maina
Minister of Women Affairs
Federal Ministry of Women Affairs
Annex 3, New Federal Secretariat, Shehu Shagari Way, Central Area, P.M.B. 229 Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
Fax: +234 9 5233644
enquiries@womenaffairs.gov.ng

Dr. James N. Obiegbu
Permanent Secretary
Federal Ministry of Police Affairs,
8th Fl., Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way,
Maitama
Abuja, Nigeria
emergency@policeaffairs.gov.ng

Senator David Mark
President of the Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria
National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zone
Abuja, Nigeria
hon.david.mark@nass.gov.ng

LETTER #2

H.E. President Paul Biya
President of the Republic of Cameroon
P.O. Box 1000
Yaoundé, Cameroon
cellcom@prc.cm
@PR_Paul_Biya
cc: Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the United Nations
cameroon.mission@yahoo.com

H.E. President Idriss Déby
President of Chad
P.O. Box 74
N’Djamena, Chad
Tel: +235 514 437
Fax: +235 514 501
cc: Permanent Mission of Chad to the United Nations
chadmission@gmail.com

Letters: 

LETTER #1

Dear President, Minister, Attorney General, Permanent Secretary, Senator, Speaker, Inspector General:

I urge you to listen to the people protesting in Nigeria – and around the globe – and  take immediate action to “Bring Back Our Girls.” Every day they remain missing puts them at greater risk.

The abduction of nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram in April, eight more girls in May, and the reported sale of some of the girls into marriage and sexual slavery, constitute egregious human rights violations. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, it may also constitute a crime against humanity. So far, your efforts to rescue the girls have fallen desperately short, which sends the message that girls and women can be sold, commodified, and used as political currency. To date, not one girl has been rescued. 57 girls have escaped on their own, leaving 219 girls still in captivity. Until and unless the Nigerian government and other actors in the conflict in Nigeria place greater value on the worth of girls and women as human beings, and take comprehensive measures to protect them from all forms of violence, they will face an ongoing and heightened risk of such abuses.

Nigeria has ratified several international and regional human rights instruments that affirm the State’s responsibility to protect women and girls from all forms of gender based violence, and specifically call on Nigeria to protect girls from trafficking and harmful practices such as child marriage. They also require that  girls’ rights to education be  upheld.

I join Equality Now, the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, Echoes of Women in Africa, Women for Justice and Peace, Alliances for Africa, and the Enough is Enough Nigeria Coalition in calling on you to ensure the safety of girls and women in the current conflict in Nigeria by:

1.    Taking immediate action to locate and rescue the missing girls and providing rehabilitation and support for them upon their return;
2.    Prosecuting those responsible for their abduction and exploitation;
3.    Take steps to protect schools from attacks so that they are safe places to learn; and by
4.    Immediately instituting, in consultation with local women’s rights organizations, measures to protect the safety and human rights of women and girls throughout the country, which are further endangered by the volatile political situation in conflict areas in Nigeria.
 
Thank you for your urgent attention.

Yours sincerely,
 


 LETTER #2

Dear President,

According to reports, some of the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls that were abducted in April by Boko Haram  may have been brought into your country and subjected to sexual slavery and forced marriage. I therefore strongly  urge you to  take immediate action to assist in locating and  rescuing the girls. Every day they remain missing puts them at greater risk.

The abduction and trafficking of   the Chibok schoolgirls and the eight additional  girls who were kidnapped in May in Borno State, Nigeria, constitute egregious human rights violations. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, selling the girls into slavery could also constitute crimes against humanity. So far, the efforts to rescue the girls have fallen desperately short, which sends the message that girls and women can be sold, commodified, and used as political currency.

I join Equality Now, the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, Echoes of Women in Africa, Women for Justice and Peace, Alliances for Africa, and the Enough is Enough Nigeria Coalition in calling on you to take immediate action to assist Nigeria in the locating and  safe return of the girls and the prosecution and/or extradition of those responsible for their abduction and exploitation.

Your country  has ratified several international and regional human rights instruments that affirm the State’s responsibility to protect women and girls from all forms of gender based violence, and specifically call for the protection of girls from trafficking and harmful practices such as child marriage. I respectfully ask that you honor your country’s obligations.

Thank you for your urgent attention.

Yours sincerely,

Mozambique: Protect women & girls— reject discrimination in new Penal Code

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2014 May 14
Update: 

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

UPDATE 13 NOVEMBER 2014: Your voices were heard — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza did not sign the damaging and discriminatory Penal Code into law! The President returned it to Parliament to revise the provisions that violate Mozambique’s Constitution, including articles on gender equality and children’s rights. According to a letter from the President, his decision was made based on input from the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s office and civil society members like you. On behalf of Equality Now and our partners, thank you for taking action! We will continue to update you with developments from Mozambique and our partners.


5 SEPTEMBER 2014 UPDATE: In a disappointing decision, on 11 July, the Mozambican parliament approved a new Penal Code that included the damaging provisions – in addition to new ones on sexual violence and domestic violence legislation – which would set back years of progress, particularly in a country where approximately 50% of women will experience physical violence in their lifetime. Of extreme concern is the new Chapter IX on Domestic Violence (Articles 245-257) which contradicts the more progressive and comprehensive 2009 Domestic Violence Act (DVA). The DVA had been specifically crafted to promote, protect and enforce the rights of women, and overturning it in such a manner would be a major setback towards combatting violence against women.

Renewed call! As the President has not yet signed the code into law, Equality Now and our partners WLSA Mozambique and Plataforma de Luta Pelos Direitos Humanos no Código Penal are exploring all avenues to ensure that Mozambique lives up to its obligations to protect, enforce and uphold the fundamental rights of women and girls. Please call on the officials below and ask them to urge the President to not enact the Penal Code, but rather to return it to Parliament to remove damaging and discriminatory provisions. Thank you for your support.


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In June, Mozambique is set to enact a new penal code that could foster a culture of violence and discrimination if passed as written. While progressive revisions have been made in the proposed draft (Penal Code Review Bill) which was preliminarily approved by Parliament in December 2013, damaging provisions that would jeopardize the safety and rights of women and girls remain, including:

What You Can Do: 

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

Join us in urgently calling on the authorities below to demand that:

  • they reject the damaging and discriminatory provisions in the draft Penal Code, and ensure that the exemption for rapists is not re-introduced into the legislation;
  • Mozambique lives up to its domestic, regional and international obligations to protect, enforce, and uphold the fundamental rights of women and girls.

Dra. Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo
President, Assembleia da República
Palácio do Quarto Congresso
Avenida 24 de Julho
Maputo, Moçambique
Fax: +25821400711011; +258 21225179
Email: arm@parlamento.org.mz

Dr. Teodoro Andrade Waty
President, Committee on Legal Affairs Human Rights and Legality of Parliament
Palácio do Quarto Congresso
Avenida 24 de Julho
Maputo, Moçambique
Fax: +25821400711; +258 21408846
Email: sgar@parlamento.org.mz

Maria Benvinda Delfina Levi
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Av. Julius Nyerere 33
Maputo, Moçambique
Fax: +25821494264
Email: benvindalevi@hotmail.com

Dr. Orlando da Graça
Secretary General,
Constitutional Council
Matthew Samson Street Muthemba, 493
P.O. Box 2372
Maputo, Moçambique
Fax: +25821487432
Email:
correiocc@cconstitucional.org.mz

Graça Machel
Former First Lady of Mozambique & South Africa
President of Fundação
para o Desenvolvimento da Comunidade (FDC)
Av. 25 de Setembro, Edifícios Times Square Bloco 2 - 3º andar
Maputo, Moçambique
Email: Vimla@nelsonmandela.org

Letters: 

Dear Speaker/Honorable,

I am deeply concerned about provisions in Mozambique’s new Penal Code, which was approved by Parliament on 11 July 2014 and is now awaiting presidential assent. If approved into law by the President as written, ramifications for women and girls in Mozambique could be devastating, leaving them at greater risk of sexual violence and discrimination.

I am particularly troubled by the damaging provisions in the legislation that define rape in a vague and limited manner, which could make it easier for rapists to escape prosecution; fail to protect women from marital rape; allow relatives of perpetrators of crimes to hinder criminal investigations; and only considers as minors children under the age of 12 in cases of rape. In addition, the hastily adopted Chapter IX on Domestic Violence (Articles 245-257), which contradicts the more progressive and comprehensive 2009 Domestic Violence Act (DVA), would be a major setback towards combatting violence against women.

Mozambique’s Constitution enshrines the fundamental principles of equality, bodily integrity, and access to justice. Further, Mozambique has ratified and domesticated a number of human rights instruments that affirm the State’s responsibility to protect women and girls from sexual violence, and to ensure equal protection under the law. I join Equality Now, their partners through the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Coalition, along with WLSA Mozambique, Fórum Mulher and other Mozambican NGOs in calling on Mozambican authorities to prevent the enactment of legislation that violates or jeopardizes the rights of women and girls, including their physical safety and integrity.
 
I respectfully urge you to take urgent action and ask the President to not enact the Penal Code, but rather to return it to Parliament to remove the damaging and discriminatory provisions.  I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

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