In Summary

  • A campaign to fight gender-based violence in Kenya kicks off.
  • The campaign dubbed ‘Activate Nairobi’ was officially launched on Saturday November 24th at the University of Nairobi.
  • The launch is in line with the start of the global 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

To mark the start of the global sixteen days of activism against gender based violence, a campaign dubbed  “Activate Nairobi” was launched at an event at the University of Nairobi with a terse message around the need to fight gender-based  violence.

This campaign is a collaborative effort between Kenya’s Department of Gender Affairs, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics), the Italian Cultural Institute (IIC), and the Offices of the Embassy of Italy in Kenya.

According to The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS), more than 4 in 10 women in Kenya have faced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner during their lives.

Additionally, around 1 in 4 girls get married early, and about 1 in 5 undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country.

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The event, inaugurated by Ambassador Roberto Natali and Deputy Minister Anne Wang’ombe of the Department for Gender and Affirmative Action in Kenya, featured a round table discussion.

Four inspirational women leaders, including Charlene Ruto, Elizabeth Wathuti, Francesca Di Matteo and Professor Mary Lucia Mbithi, shared their strategies to combat climate change.

The round table culminated in the opening of the ‘I Want You to Know’ photographic exhibition by Gaia Squarci, a National Geographic scholar.

“Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are essential to eradicate poverty and build a global society based on sustainable development, social justice, and human rights.” said Anne Wang’ombe, Deputy Minister of the Department for Gender and Affirmative Action.

Gender-based Violence Report

Statistics by The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW-Kenya) reveals that over 3,762 cases of Gender-Based Violence were reported in 2022. Out of those cases, 2,985 cases of GBV were by women while 777 cases were by men.

Ambassador Natali emphasized, ” It is imperative to sensitize, to talk, to inform, to educate our children: educate them about respect, about equality, educate about the idea that force can never be an instrument of dialogue. And if we can do it together, we will be more effective and we will build more sustainable solutions.”

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Speaking at the launch, Charlene Ruto, Youth Champion was keen to note, “When young women, especially those living with disability are actively involved in policy formulation and implementation, the resulting strategies are more comprehensive, resilient, and sustainable.”

She added that she hopes in the future people will continue championing for  inclusivity, amplify diverse voices, and create opportunities that empower women to lead the change against global warming.

The event, held at the University of Nairobi and attended by over 500 students, focused on the relationship between climate change and female empowerment through the testimonies and experiences of four women activists.

The ‘Activate Nairobi’ campaign will run until 10 December, with several impactful events to highlight the magnitude of violence against women in Nairobi lined up.

‘Activate Nairobi’ campaign events will be engaging and will include a theatre performance, two evenings of stand-up comedy by a leading comedy group in Nairobi, film screenings, and two forums dedicated to survivors of gender violence cases in Kenya, authorities, and stakeholders.

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