Kenya just committed to ending gender based violence in five years. Here’s how they plan to do it
In June 2021, the Government of Kenya made a valiant decision to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) including sexual violence by 2026. When making the announcement, Kenya promised to intensify its campaign to end these violations by undertaking a series of 12 bold commitments that would remove the systemic barriers that allow GBV to thrive.
The Government of Kenya committed to:
- The full implementation of GBV laws and policies by adopting a GBV indicator in the government Performance contracting framework to track duty-bearers accountability on enforcement and implementation of GBV laws and policies by 2022.
- Investing USD 23 million for GBV prevention and response by 2022 and increase the resource allocation up to USD 50million by 2026 through a co-financing model. Specifically, the Government of Kenya, commits to sustain the allocation for FY2020/2021 of USD 2.79 million to GBV and FGM and incrementally work towards a minimum budget allocation of USD 5million for subsequent financial years. In addition, we commit to institute an accountability framework for tracking expenditure.
- Ratify and implement the ILO Convention 190 on eliminating Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the world of work by 2026 in close partnership with the private sector.
- Introducing a module on GBV in the 2022 Kenya Demographic Health Survey to strengthen the utilization of gender statistics in informing the design, scale-up and evaluation of FGM and GBV programming.
- Develop a GBV management and information system by 2022 to strengthen GBV prevention and response programming.
- Invest USD 1 million annually for GBV research, and innovation to boost evidence-based programming by 2026.
- Integrating GBV services - medical, legal, and psychological support services into the essential minimum package of the Universal Health Coverage UHC by 2022.
- Scaling up the national police service integrated response to GBV’ (Policare)’ and establishing Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centers and shelters in all 47 counties by 2026.
- Establishing a GBV survivors fund through a co-financing model in partnership with private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders for economic empowerment of GBV survivors.
- GBV prevention and response in crisis situations such as COVID-19 pandemic response, humanitarian contexts and electoral related GBV.
- Strengthen collaboration with non-state actors including girl-led, women’s rights organizations, male champions, and private sector through coordination structures such as the Gender Sector working groups at the national and county level.
- Adopting and institutionalizing the multi-sectoral GEF Leadership structure comprising the National Advisory Committee, the National Steering Committee, and the county leadership structure to guide the implementation of Kenya’s GEF Commitments in the GBV Action Coalition up to 2026.
But while these commitments are welcome, justice will remain elusive for many women and girls in Kenya if they are not realized.
With over 40% of women in Kenya likely to face physical and or SGBV including lifetime physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and over one in five girls facing child marriage or Female Genital Mutilation, Kenya has a long way to go.
We’ve seen these violations worsened by humanitarian crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and crises related to electoral periods, and this will continue without sustained action.
Kenya must therefore prioritize the realization of these commitments in order to make gender equality a reality for women and girls within the next five years.
Equality Now is therefore urging the government of Kenya to honor the 12 commitments to end all forms of GBV by 2026 and further call upon it, fellow civil society organizations and the private sector to intensify the fight against GBV by:
- Institutionalizing each of the 12 commitments by linking each to a state department or organization for action planning and budgeting; embed them in county planning documents as well;
- Developing a clear road-map and accountability framework of how each of the 12 commitments will be implemented, with meaningful engagement of non-governmental, civil society, women rights organizations and grassroots communities;
- Rolling out the “Komesha Dhulma" campaign in all the 47 counties; and
- Institutionalizing the Generation Equality Forum Secretariat within the Ministry of Public Service, Youth, and Gender to fast track action planning and implementation of the 12 GEF commitments.
If you or someone you know is experiencing gender-based violence in Kenya, you are not alone.
Call the GBV toll-free hotline 1195 today to get healthcare assistance and referrals to legal aid, rescue centers, and counseling.
Want to learn more about efforts to end gender-based violence in Kenya?
Catch up on Your Voice Matters - a series of online conversations that we have been having with Better4Kenya and some remarkable influencers in Kenya on the need to accelerate the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence and the advancement of the rights of women and girls in the country.