Addressing Gender-Based Violence is Needed for a More Gender-Equal Post COVID-19 World
Nairobi, Kenya – 8 March 2021 – The theme of this year’s International Day, Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, recognizes the importance of enabling women and girls to participate fully in leadership and decision-making.
But progress towards this goal is undermined by Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Data from the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) shows that by the end of 2020, cases of violence against women and girls in across the 10 counties in Kenya had risen by 64%. The National Crime Research Center report 2020 shows a 92% increase in cases of Gender-Based Violence between January and June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
With support from the Mastercard Foundation, CREAW, GROOTS Kenya, and the Center for Collaborative Gender and Development (CCGD) have been working to address the challenge by providing access to legal aid, psycho-social support, and shelters, as well as connecting women to economic opportunities. To date, 10,019 women have received direct services.
Still, much remains to be done. Too many women continue to lack access to these types of services, often due to socio-cultural barriers.
“As a consortium, we recognize that almost a year after Kenya declared its first case of the Coronavirus, countless numbers of women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by the increasing cases of GBV, loss of income, and unequal domestic caregiving as they bear the brunt of harsh economic and social fall–out during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wangechi Wachira, the Executive Director of CREAW.
To reach additional women, the consortium will soon be launching the Jasiri Fund, the first of its kind in Kenya, to provide financial support to survivors of GBV. The Jasiri Fund, part of the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, is being piloted in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Kakamega, Busia, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Kajiado, and Mandera counties. It will provide affordable business loans of up to Ksh 500,000 to 1,000 women and girls who are survivors of GBV. The loans are expected to enable women to recover and build their economic ventures beyond the pandemic—giving them the freedom and opportunity to take up the mantle of leadership.
“The Mastercard Foundation is working to enable a generation of young women to access educational and economic opportunities that break cycles of poverty and violence. Our Young Africa Works strategy aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, and 5 million young people in Kenya, to access dignified and fulfilling work. Young women make up 70% of these targets and will remain a crucial focal point as the Foundation continues to support economic recovery in Kenya through partnerships across sectors and thematic areas, including collaborations such as the one we have engaged in with the consortium and that address the issue of Gender-Based Violence,” said Joyce Muchena, Gender Lead at the Mastercard Foundation.
“A desirable society is where young girls and women enjoy safe spaces and are part of decision–making and development in their society,” said Santa Kagendo, Gender Champion.
About the Center for Rights Education and Awareness
Founded in 1999, the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) is a national feminist organization driving change for equal societies in Kenya. We place women and girls at the center of our actions to end inequality and realize social justice. We question political, social, economic, legal, cultural and religious structures that silences the voices and agency of women and girls in Kenya.
CREAW envisions a just society where women and girls enjoy full rights and live in dignity. We believe in the equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available for every woman and girl. We stand for, ensuring women and girls have Power, Voice and Agency. For more information on CREAW, please visit: www.creawkenya.org
About the Center for Collaborative Gender and Development
Collaborative Center for Gender Development (CCGD) was established in 1996 by a small group of academics, researchers and development experts to build capacity in gender responsive planning, advocacy and programming. CCGD has grown into a dependable policy research and advocacy resource organization with program presence at county, national and regional levels. CCGD seeks to promote gender responsive capacity building and institutional development of all sectors in planning, budgeting, programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. For more information on CCGD, please visit: www.ccgdcentre.org
About GROOTS Kenya
GROOTS Kenya Association is a duly registered under section 10 of the Societies Act in Kenya as an association of 3,500 community-based organizations (CBOs) that are women led. GROOTS Kenya was formed in 1995 as a response to the inadequate visibility of grassroots women in development and decision-making forums that directly impact on them and their communities. GROOTS Kenya’s mission is to facilitate grassroots women and girls effective engagement in development through movement building, leadership and advocacy. For more information on GROOTS Kenya, please visit: www.grootskenya.org
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
For more information please contact:
Center for Rights Education and Awareness
Center for Collaborative Gender and Development
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
+27 76 166 5372, firstname.lastname@example.org