Joint Oral Statement on Violence Against Women

A Joint Oral Statement was delivered under Item 3: General Debate on 1 July 2019  that highlighted the issue of violence against women.

Link to the text in pdf file

Joint Oral Statement at the 41st Session of the Human Right Council

Item 3: General Debate

1 July, 2019

Delivered by: Mr. Constantine D’Abreu

Mr. President

The Kenya Government has signed and ratified the international convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women[1], adopted the Protection against Domestic Violence Act, No. 2 of 2015, as well as SDG 5 on gender equality.

VIVAT International, Edmund Rice International and ERAN, Kenya are concerned with the increased cases of murder of young ladies[2] as a result of domestic violence and the lack of effective investigations, arrests and prosecution of perpetrators.

Between January to April 2019, 29 women have lost their lives, the majority being house wives. Cases of gender based violence against women, sexual abuse and physical abuse are very rampant and the perpetrators are not brought to account.

A nurse in one of the facilities in Mukuru slums reports that there have been over 25 cases reported and recorded on sexual violence, domestic violence and physical violence against women. Yet, majority of the cases are ignored by the police on the grounds that a woman cannot be raped by her husband. This is the same experience of Mirriam, founder of the Wangu Kanja Foundation founder[3], to which many women turn to for support.

We call on the Government of Kenya:

1. To implement the enforcement of all laws protecting women against violence and to hold law enforcement accountable to expediting the process of investigations and prosecution of perpetrators.
2. To automate data that will allow perpetrators to be identified to minimize reoccurrence of abuses.
3. To conduct training for law enforcement officials and judges on the application of the laws protecting women against violence.
4. To increase budgetary allocation for establishment of mental health facilities, train and employ adequate personnel, partner with relevant stakeholders, and develop safe temporal places where survivors of sexual and domestic violence could receive necessary support for healing while they seek justice.

[1] African for Women Rights: Ratify & Respect: