On Sunday, according to reports, more than 60 women from the slums in Nakuru West marked the International Women’s Day in style. A series of training was carried for women on gender, human rights, and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
The training at Shabab Hall saw participants field questions to legal experts from Egerton University Faculty of Law led by Dr. Ruth Aura. Some of the questions revolved around women’s rights, especially on matters inheritance, gender based-violence and land rights among others. The women requested to be trained on mediation in a bid to address violence at their homes.
Ms. Jane Karuku from Githima Location said she is now aware of her rights to own property acquired jointly with her husband.
“For a long time, women in the slums and marginalized areas have not enjoyed their basic human rights and that is why Egerton University Faculty of Law is training them on basic human rights. The women form a critical component in the social-economic development of our country,” said Dr. Aura.
Mr. Wambua Kituku, the project manager of Amkeni Wakenya said that his organization will continue supporting institutions like Egerton University which are pushing for access to justice among the poor. Amkeni Wakenya is a civil society that supports the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) activities in Kenya.
“Most of the poor and marginalized women from the slums of Nakuru West have limited access to justice and that is why UNDP is supporting the initiative by Egerton University Faculty of Law to ensure they are aware of their basic human rights,” said Mr. Kituku.
Mr Kituku said that since 2008, his organization has supported more than 200 civil societies in Kenya to raise awareness on human rights issues.
“The legal aid which has eluded the poor has been brought closer to them through such training. They are now aware of their basic human rights and this has contributed to harmony in the society,” said Mr Kituku.
He said access to justice among the poor is crucial for sustainable development of the society. Mr. Mutuku said that Kenya cannot achieve its development goals if women are oppressed.
“A country that does not allow women to have a voice in development and governance issues cannot achieve its economic and social goals,” said Mr. Kituku.
The official said since Kenya is a signatory of the global sustainable development goals, women should be part and parcel of that journey to end poverty.
“As a country, we should sensitize Kenyans on the need to promote the rights and freedom of women who face poverty, marginalization, and gender-based violence,” said Mr Kituku.
Mr Kituku said the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) presents an opportunity to push for the implementation of two-third gender rule to give women equal representation in the political and social spheres. “BBI should encourage discussion around implementing the two-third rule which could lead to greater empowerment of women,” said Mr Kituku.