INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.
ACORD held different activities on this fateful day to honor and celebrate women. At National level we Participated in an event organized by ministry of Gender at the Kenyatta International conference center (KICC). Activities in play on the said day included, exhibit what we have been doing on our project in Bungoma on “promoting women’s participation and leadership in the upcoming general elections”. Sensitizing the public on the importance of voter registration and on the advantages of voting for women leaders, We also distribute our materials on the same. The guest of honor for this function was first lady, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta . She launched the new help line for victims of gender based violence which is #1195, thus the hash tag for the day #jitokeze1195.
Members of the public visiting our stand.
ACORD and partners of Kisumu Gender technical working group gathered at chemilil round about in muhoroni on IWD to celebrate women. The theme of the function being, BOLD FOR CHANGE. Among those present were Governor Kisumu Jackton Ranguma, Woman rep Rose Nyamunga, different leaders, county commissioners, the police, chiefs, and about 2000 members of the public. Activities that were in play on this day included sensitization of the public on violence against women and girls (VAWG). Free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling. Legal aid for the public in relation to women’s rights.
BUNGE LA WANANCHI BUNGOMA COUNTY.
A forum organized by ACORD on the 28th of February 2017 , brought together various diverse representatives from different groups, i.e assistant chiefs, village elders, women caucus,business men and even students.
Its aim: to change the behavior and attitude of the electorate towards women in leadership and politics through creating conversations on gender agenda.
Above shows the proceedings at the Bunge. This is in Bumula constituency, kimaeti ward , Bungoma county.
MABANGA PEACE ACCORD CONSULTATIVE MEETING.
Over 10 years ago, the Sabaot Land Defense Force had a rag tag army emerged in Mt. Elgon in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia and visited upon the population untold suffering including killings, maiming, raping and destruction of property. Although the group was eventually put down by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), the grievances that they had and the tribal animosity caused by their activities strained relationships among the neighboring communities of the Luhyia, the Sabaot and the Teso living in the two counties of Bungoma and Trans Nzoia. ACORD intervened and helped broker the Mabanga Peace Accord that enabled restoration of peace and normalcy in the affected areas and peaceful elections in 2013.
In an effort to assess the peace and conflict context in Kenya, the National Steering Committee on Peace building and Conflict Management (NSC) under the auspices of the UWIANO Platform for Peace conducted a national conflict and electoral risk assessment country-wide. The assessment points out that there are early signs that ethnic tension is again on the rise in these counties (Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia) ahead of the 2017 Elections. This is corroborated by the NCIC Mapping and IEBC risk assessment conducted in mid-2016.
On 16th and 17th December 2016, ACORD and partners conducted a meeting with council of elders from the two counties, to assuage the fears inherent among the communities living in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties, that there wouldn’t be a repeat of violence in the build up to 2017 elections.The council of elders discuss a strategy to stem this disquiet and reaffirm their commitment to the Mabanga Peace Accord and strategized on implementation of some of the remaining parts of the Mabanga Peace Accord.
SEXUAL GENDER BASED VIOLENCE CONFERENCE.
ACORD staff attended a three day conference organized by the red cross society to share on their work on sexual gender based violence.The main aim of the conference was to help strengthen collective efforts and pull resources to combat SGBV.
Objectives of the conference were ;
- To recap on the SGBV resolutions and pledges.
- share experiences , challenges , lessons and oportunities in combating SGBV
- Equip national socities with tools and knowledge releted to SGBV.
- Provide national societies an opportunity to network and interact with other stakeholders involved in SGBV work.
Round table discussions with different organizations on their work in relation to SGBV.
GLOBAL GOALS WORLD CUP WORKSHOP
The Global Goals World Cup is about using the power of sports to create a public moment on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) By letting the teams pick their favorite Global Goals to play for. Its about Women taking the lead in choosing their own development agenda by setting a team and boldly playing for change.
The ball to be used for the global coals world cup encrypted with the 17 SDGs.
The first pilot qualifying match was held in Copenhagen to mark the Women Deliver conference on 17th May. On September 18th the Global Goals World Cup was launched officially at the Social Good Summit in partnership with UNDP, Save the Children and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The workshop was majorly on planning towards the next stage of the Global Goals World Cup project which is set to happen either in March 8th or April 6th – having two events in East and Southern Africa – one in Kenya and one in Ethiopia.
This workshop brought together partners working with girls and women’s rights, sports and public mobilization in East and Southern Africa, we learnt about the project and discuss the opportunities it presents to align advocacy and campaigning efforts towards achieving the sustainable development goals.
ACORD being a bold believer and supporter of the fight on SDGs , we will be working hand in hand with save the children on this worthy coarse on SGDS in Nairobi and the counties in which we have a presence.
MONTHLY WORKING GROUPS MEETING.
Monthly working groups meeting held on the 6th October 2016 at NGEC offices saw different CSO’s shared the updates for their agencies for the month of September. They included.
- Launch of our program in Bungoma on promoting women leadership in the upcoming general elections 2017.
Nairobi women’s GBV recovery center.
- kilifi county government has set up safe houses for GBV victims and In light of the keeping the promise campaign the Nairobi women’s recovery center team will offer trainings to the people who will be manning the centers.
- They have set up a child online protection service in Kibera.
Women challenge to challenge organization.
- They had trainings in Kuria for women who are physically challenged and are political aspirants.
- Still in Kuria training on GBV and FGM.
Kenyatta national hospital GBV recovery center.
- Sensitization in schools and churches in preparation for world mental health day e psychological first aid.
- Training of women political aspirants in different counties.
- They had a debate for different schools on GBV reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.
- They also rescued a young girl who was about to be married off early.
Kenya red cross .
- They’ve had a gender and diversity training for their staff .
- They have in cooperated the Beirut GBV training curriculum in Kenya.
Teachers service commission TSC
- Training and sensitization of teachers on GBV and child protection
The National gender and equality commission has facilitated the development of a national monitoring and evaluation framework towards the prevention and response of SGBV.
The aim of the system is to collect aggregated data on cases of SGBV reported to the following sectors health, education, police, prosecution and judiciary.
The system is set to be up and running anytime from next month Thats in November 2016 . On the site reports from the said five sectors will be available and can also be downloaded, the information is available on sgbv.ngeckenya.org.
Discussion also on what should be done to have an effective year three of ‘keeping the promise end GBV campaign’ (GBV and elections) included.
- Capacity building for citizens at county level .
- Working on having men allies who can be advocates of women when it comes to SGBV
- Youth sensitization especially boda boda riders.
- Political parties sensitization.
- And also training different media houses and sensitizing them on delivery of information and news .
THE WOMEN SITUATION ROOM KENYA.
WSR is a process that mobilizes harnesses and taps on the expertise and experience of women to mitigate potential conflict leading to violence that could emerge before, during and after elections.
It promotes women and youth to play an active and direct role in peace and security efforts and to empower them to engage in peace processes and conflict prevention mechanisms in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions 1325 which affirms women involvement in peace processes and peace building, as well as subsequent resolutions. WSR is non affiliated and non partisan.
GOAL OF WSR.
To ensure all elections in africa are peaceful and that women and youth play an active and substantive role in sustaining peace.
Provide women and youth organizations a platform to strategize plan and respond rapidly to election related issues in a manner coordinated with existing mechanisms
To ensure a consolidated reponse system linked to appropriate authorities including law enforcers and electrol bodies to ensure everyone can participate in elections in a peaceful environment.
Strengthen womens solidarity and showcase their ability to constractivly launch preventive measures to ensure elections take place in a manner that fosters an enabling environment and all inclusive process.
The WSR has succefully been replicated in Senegal, sierra leone , Nigeria , Uganda and now recently in Kenya.
The process will give Kenyan women and youth a chance to ensure peaceful elections through election observations and rapid response , it will play an active role in ensuring the incidence of election violence is minimized.
NYALENDA COMMUNITY FESTIVAL.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a global phenomenon, prevalent in all societies, regardless of income and poverty. It is widely recognized as one of the most enduring abuse of human rights worldwide, affecting an estimated one third of women during their lifetime and throughout their life cycle.
The 1st of October a quarterly community festival was underway in Pandipieri primary school. The festival brought together the youths from two of the participating primary schools which are Joel Omino and Pandipieri. The festival was for celebrating the work that has been done over the months of July August and September on addressing violence against women and girls.
In attendance were different CSO that partnered with ACORD and British council, the youth, coaches, teachers, parents and community members.
The festivals started on a high with football matches from the youths from both participating schools, who showcased the skills they had acquired from the premier skills to their parents. This was later followed by community conversations. The topic of discussion being incest rape. The discussions focused on effects of the rape on the victim, how the matter ought to be handled, and lessons learnt from the topic of discussion. At the end of the discussion a survey was conducted and majority of the participants agreed that they had learnt a lot from the discussions and that they would apply the knowledge acquired.
Other activities that were in play on the said date was, push for sitarusha mawe tena peace campaign which is a slogan used to urge the youth to be peaceful and not violent not to engage in meaningless squabbles and fight, rather channel that energy in building the society.
Over all the community festival was a success with a rough figure of around 700 children and 400 adults in attendance. There was a good representation of civil societies, Community based organisations, red cross, YALI youths, peace ambassadors Kenya , Mayfair holdings and premier skills. British council and ACORD were also represented.
Towards the end of the festival the children entertained themselves and the guests in song dance and poems on VAWG. The guests also had a word or two to say regarding the festival.
2/3 GENDER RULE PROJECT LAUNCH IN BUNGOMA COUNTY : AT MABANGA.
The coming political elections are key and critical for Kenya as a country and women in particular. The gains for women in the country have not been won on a silver platter but have been an uphill struggle for women since the first Beijing Platform of Action onto which have been anchored women rights for spaces politically economically and social scene. Our constitution derives our international legislation from global conventions. Statutes and Resolutions which take cognizance of achieving social justice and equity through the active participation of women in matters Security, Peace, Economic Political and Social rights. Article 27(8) provides affirmative action for the state to take measures both legislative and otherwise to ensure not more than two thirds of elected and appointed are of the same gender. Article 81 further stresses the same rule should apply to public bodies. As of today this is skewed and needs to be addressed by voting in women.
Led by ACORD and Partners RWPL –Rural Women Peace Link and Peace and Rights Program 304 Participants joined in the official Launch of its Project in Bungoma County ‘Promoting women participation and leadership in 2017 general elections in Kenya. It aims at increasing the number of women elected at county, legislative and parliamentary levels in Bungoma County. The Project intends to harness all strategies at its disposal to ensure the field is leveled to allow voters and candidates meet the 1/3 Gender Rule threshold. The project will address glaring and skewed nominations within parties, work with elders to address cultural barriers and norms, recruit male champions to stand with the women candidates and youth aspirants, enjoin influential members of the community in social contracting to counter cultural norms, stereotypes, educational and economic barriers to propel the election of Members of Parliament at the National and County government levels as MCAs.
The Launch brought together a cross section of leaders from different political parties in Bungoma, Ford-Kenya, Jubilee, ANC, ODM, URP, Alliance Party, NEWFORD/KENYA, UDF, and Independent. The Council of Elders from Sabaot, Teso and Bukusu communities.60 Women Political Aspirants, Key Public Officials, National and County Government officials.10 Media stations both TV and Radio to amplify the event to 1000000 listeners and viewers. On social media the event trended at #decisiontwothirdsbungoma. Shared on WhatsApp group BUNGOMA WOMEN LEADERS and Facebook Page -Wanawake Uongozini Bungoma County.Volunteer Community Advocates based in the 9 constituencies were introduced to the women aspirants. They will identify more aspirants for capacity assessment and campaign for them and mobilize communities and deliver civic education to the citizens in the rural areas. The event was graced by the County Minister for Gender and Culture-Ms. Grace Khayota, who said the following:
‘Injustices against girls start when they are young.’ ‘women political aspirants need moral, financial and security from men.
Mabanga is significant and a historic place its at Mabanga ACORD Partners and stakeholders founded The Mabanga Peace Accord to bring peace and harmony among three different communities of Iteso,Bukusu and Sabaot.Let us make history again here on Women Leadership The elders have blessed you.
The elders blessed and endorsed the women aspirants and gave their assents that women need to be elected and are as capable as their male colleagues,
The event shared out a draft report of the baseline survey conducted by ACORD which gave insights into the position and status of women leadership in the County. The county has never elected a female MP since independence. The revelation interrogated the attitudes of the community towards women leaders and challenged citizens to rise up and promote women rights to realize transformative leadership in the county.
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE WORKING GROUPS MEETING
Working group meetings are meeting held every month, usually hosted by the national gender and equality commission to tackle matters on Gender based violence (GBV). On 1st September 2016 the agenda of the working group meeting was the presentation of the sexual offenses (amendment) bill. The meeting was fairly attended by ACORD Kenya team different Non governmental organizations (NGO’S) and Civil society organizations (CSO’S). This kind of meeting seeks to work around advocacy. Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions.
The sponsor of the bill is Hon. Florence Mutua member of parliament Busia county. We were privileged to have her present the bill. She talked of having been disturbed by some of the cases she had been coming a crossing in her county and also on social media, something that pushed her towards the amendment of the sexual offenses bill. One of the cases she touched on was the LIZ CASE. This is a case of a sixteen year old girl who was gang raped and left for dead in busia county. The perpetrators punishment was to slash grass. This is such an inhumane crime yet it has been taken so lightly with the responsible authority.
The sexual offenses (amendment) bill seeks to amend ;
- The definition of indecent act.
- Fines payable by perpetrators.
- Jail term and bail .
- Special units for sexual offenses.
- Education and public awareness of sexual offenses.
The bill has some shortcomings and therefore it will go through another process to incorporate what was left out, thanks to the input by the stakeholders.
The meeting also had representation from Kenya women parliamentary association (KEWOPA.), who had a thing or two to say about SOA .
Happenings in the Mount Elgon Region
On June 16th, a quarterly community festival was held to celebrate the work that is being done in the Mount Elgon region in ending gender-based violence. In attendance was parents, community leaders, as well as neighbors who were able to participate in team-building events and to see how the children are progressing through the program. The event was very successful with about 500 child and 300 parent participants who joined together in songs and dances. A football showcase was demonstrated by the children so that parents could see the skills they have learned.
By having parents attend the festival, leaders and coaches were able to hear from them the impact that the program has on the lives of their children. A conversation was opened up about the issues of early marriage, pregnancy, and violence. The reasons and consequences of extra-marital affairs was also a hot topic. Mothers brainstormed ideas of how to prevent their children from entering into dangerous situations such as not sending them into the forest, to fetch water, or out in the night without being accompanied.
One of the main bonding activities was called “My hands are not for hurting,” which aimed to teach men not to hurt the women in their lives, an idea borrowed from the UK program. All the men in attendance (about 60-70) held a banner, shared hands, and pledged never to hurt a woman.
The program has engaged approximately 480 children in a curriculum that lasts 22 weeks. The first portion consists of confidence-building classroom work before moving into the outdoor football activity. For future sessions, the time frame might become shorter in order to have more retention of participants. The progress of the children in measured by surveys done before and after the curriculum part to see if their attitudes on the subject have changed. Previous ones have shown that the confidence levels of the kids can change dramatically by the program’s end.
The next few weeks will see training of community leaders and stakeholders in gaining advocacy skills
WOMEN’S ROLE IN PEACE BUILDING AND CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION IN KENYA.
A conference was held in march 30-31 2015 by ACORD and funded by UNDP, to examine the role of women in peace building initiatives and harness their energies to enhance a peaceful Kenya. A key outcome was a shared understanding of women’s role in peace building and conflict transformation and a way forward on strengthening these roles.
Other outcomes included.
• Feedback to government peace and security agencies on the effective of policies and program’s targeted
at peace-building, national cohesion and reconciliation.
• Developing an understanding of the global development process as envisaged in the proposed sustainable development goals with specific reference to Goal 16 on peace, justice and governance and the UN Resolution 1325 on the role of women in peace processes. Read more on the same under,