Where does the name FIDA come from?

FIDA is a Spanish acronym for International Federation of Women Lawyers, that is, Federation International De Abogadas (FIDA). At its inception FIDA Kenya was affiliated to the International Federation of Women Lawyers, an organization started in Mexico by a group of women lawyers who sought to promote Gender Equality globally.

Is FIDA Kenya’s objective separating families?

No, FIDA Kenya does offer legal aid to women only but also offers legal advice to men, family counseling, family mediation, civic education and human rights training to both men and women. FIDA Kenya also has a mediation programme and a pro-bono lawyers’ scheme that is predominantly male. Our Friends of FIDA initiative also brings in men as equal contributors towards the Gender Equality course that FIDA champions for.

Does FIDA Kenya only focus on divorce matters?

No, FIDA Kenya primarily focuses on matters around the family law as these have been evidenced to affect women in a grave manner. We also intervene in land and succession matters child custody and maintenance, family mediation and work with informal justice systems to ensure that women rights are upheld and respected. We also help women represent themselves in court, in simple matters through our self-representation programme. Further to this FIDA Kenya also provides individual counseling, group therapy counseling, family mediation and general legal advice.
We work with communities through partnerships with community organizations, conduct community advocacy on women rights and gender responsive law, engage with legislators, Judiciary, nd the Police to ensure that gender responsive legislations are enacted and enforced and monitor government compliance to ratified international laws and treaties on women rights.

Can a man be a member of FIDA Kenya?

No, membership to FIDA Kenya is only open to women lawyers and women law students. FIDA Kenya does however have men who are honorary members. Male honorary members are a select group of men who have demonstrated exceptional contribution to the work of FIDA Kenya.
Men are also involved in FIDA Kenya’s work through our Friends of FIDA Initiative that brings together people from all walks of life, passionate about women rights to champion the course through philanthropy. Men are also involved as pro-bono lawyers and mediators.

Who are the clients of FIDA?

FIDA Kenya works towards the realization of a just society free from all forms of discrimination against women. Our primary beneficiaries are therefore women. However, we also work with men in various communities to ensure that gender equality is realized and that women rights are upheld and respected in all spheres of development.

What do I need to do to get help from FIDA Kenya?

FIDA Kenya offices are open from Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 5.00pm excluding public holidays. To get help from FIDA, kindly visit one of our three offices or call us to get more information on our services.

Interactive question.

Question :
I have been married for 8 years and I seem to have grown out of love. My husband is a very nice guy and all ladies seem to be attracted to him apart from me. Kindly advice if there is any way I can divorce him. All the grounds for divorce don’t seem to apply on him: adultery, cruelty, desertion etc I just don’t feel the chill any more.

Agnes, Limuru

Hallo Agnes,
We note that you didn’t indicate to us under what type of marriage you and your husband got married under, so as to enable us advise you appropriately on the applicable grounds for divorce under such a marriage. The main types of marriage recognized under the Kenyan Law include Statutory, Customary, Islamic and Hindu.
A wedding performed in church, at the D.C office or at the Registrar of Marriages (Attorney General’s chambers) is called a statutory marriage and a certificate of marriage is issued upon the conclusion of such a ceremony. Under Customary marriages, the law allows for marriages under the various customary practices, whereas when a couple gets married under the Islamic or Hindu Law such a marriage is known as Islamic or Hindu Marriage respectively.

Under Statutory marriage the grounds for seeking a divorce include: cruelty, desertion, adultery and insanity. The court can only grant a divorce after three years of marriage under statutory marriage. Under customary marriage the grounds include adultery desertion, witchcraft, impotence, cruelty and incest.

Under the Islamic and Hindu law, the grounds for divorce are as stated in the Quran and Hindu Law respectively. The law provides that the grounds on which one seeks a divorce must be proved to the court before the court can pronounce a divorce.
In regard to your query, you can only be granted a divorce in court under the above mentioned grounds, depending on the type of marriage you are married under. If the court discovers that a party seeking a divorce has condoned (where you know your partner is doing a wrong and not taken any action), connived (when you arrange with your partner to commit the act for which you seek a divorce) or colluded with the other party in a marriage it may refuse to grant a divorce.