FIDA-Kenya has been promoting access to justice for thousands of women through provision of legal aid, self-representation trainings in women and women prisons, pro bono lawyer scheme, legal representation, and strategic impact litigation on matters including child custody and maintenance, land and matrimonial disputes, labour and economic rights.
The restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic made it harder for survivors to report abuse and seek help and for service providers to respond efficiently. However, FIDA-Kenya provided alternative mechanisms to assist victims, for instance utilizing the toll free number (0800720501) to report cases; strengthening the capacity of Kenya’s justice institutions to prioritize and address the rising number of GBV cases during the pandemic; accelerating the roll-out of an e-filing and casetracking system in court stations which has resulted in an improved access to justice for survivors of GBV through automated functions of the judiciary. Also, the country’s first operating guide on the establishment of state-owned Gender Based Violence Recovery Centers is in place.
A study conducted by the National Crime and Research Centre on gender-based violence in the country revealed that GBV cases had increased by 92% in 2020, as compared to the previous year. Globally, at least 1 in 5 women experiences gender-based violence, most often from someone who is close to them. This preceded a study conducted by the National Crime Research Center which highlighted that there was a 92% increase of reported GBV cases between January and June 2020 as compared to 2019. FIDA-Kenya has had over 1,316 cases on GBV matters and over 6,000 calls on GBV by August 2020.
Kenya has also made a great move in movement building especially using the media as an advocacy and sensitization tool, this was evident in a recent case in late March whereby a radio station was fined and staff fired after they mocked a victim of GBV. This is among the robust initiatives against all forms of GBV that are being realized.
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