Over the past twenty-nine years of Equality Now’s quest to realize a just world for women and girls, it has been critical for us to ensure the voices of women and girls are at the center of our work.
As we adapt to this unique time of the COVID pandemic, a quarter of a century after the groundbreaking Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and against the backdrop of the Generation Equality Forum, we, in partnership with several other local women’s rights organizations, sought the voices of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, to understand their reality and specifically their experiences as they sought to access justice.
The stories that we heard painted a picture of two common themes we know to be true. Firstly, Kenya has robust laws that should prevent, protect and respond to sexual and gender-based violence; And secondly, critical gaps in the justice sector prevent the effective implementation of those laws. Worse still pervasive socioeconomic factors continue to be a catalyst for sexual exploitation as well as child and teenage pregnancies.