Women and Governance Programme

This programme focuses more on policy engagement and transformation of formal and cultural systems to ensure that they are responsive, uphold and respect women’s rights. Its operations are informed by what happens at the community level. The strategic intention of this programme is to consolidate the gains made in the past, and to use them for transformative change in the justice system. This it does through:

Civic engagement:

This seeks to empower communities to be able to claim their rights and discharge their responsibilities. Under this intervention, the capacities of community action groups, traditional justice systems and women are built to promote conditions for social change for women to be able to assert and actively exercise their economic, social, cultural and political rights so as to acquire control over their conditions of life.
FIDA Kenya currently has over 200 community watch groups who are champions of gender equality in their communities.

Reproductive Health Rights:

FIDA Kenya works to ensure that women’s maternal and reproductive health rights in general are respected and upheld. It works in partnership with the Reproductive Health Rights Alliance to ensure that policies and legislations are in place to promote the realization of women’s reproductive health rights.

  • Through the Legal Support Network, FIDA Kenya provides legal support to health service providers who are often arrested or harassed by the police as they go about their duties in ensuring that women’s reproductive and maternal health rights are respected and upheld.
  • We also work with the government through the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation to address disrespect and abuse of expectant women during child birth. Through the community health strategy, it ensures that women at the community level are aware of their rights and that service providers respect these rights.
  • This has led to attitude change amongst health workers in project districts and subsequently an increase in the number of women seeking antenatal and postnatal care services in public hospitals. We also coordinate a social media platform to generate discussions on Maternal Health Rights which informs our interventions.

    Agenda 4 Programme:

    This intervention seeks to monitor the implementation of the Constitution, 2010 with a specific focus on reform to key government institutions such as the Judiciary, the Police and Provincial Administration, Land Registries and other actors in both the civil and the criminal justice system to enhance access to justice for women in Kenya.

  • It works with the informal justice systems on women’s land and property rights and ensures that these systems are gender responsive. It also empowers women to be able to challenge the status quo, demand and assert their rights.
  • Over the past two years, IJS have been quite responsive to women issues with the inclusion of women in IJS governing councils, development of gender responsive Constitution by the Akamba Council of elders and referrals of women rights violation cases to FIDA Kenya for litigation purposes.

  • Policy and practice advocacy:

    FIDA Kenya continuously engages respective state actors and various Constitutional offices and institutions e.g. the Judiciary, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the National Police Service and the Legislature to ensure that they embrace a culture of constitutionalism that respects and promotes women’s rights and justice for women.

    International treaty monitoring and research:

    FIDA Kenya boosts of its consultative and observer status with United Nations Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC) and the African Union(AU) which has enabled it to get accreditation to critical international policy influencing spaces such as the United Nation Commission on the status of women(C.S.W), Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW) and The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights(ACHPR) there by affirming its credibility as a defender for women’s rights.
    This program therefore, focuses its energies to secure transformative justice for all women

    Constitutional and Legislative reforms:

    FIDA Kenya Constitution, Legislative and Policy Advocacy Programme focuses on expanding opportunities and creating conducive environment for women to participate in the democratic and development processes. FIDA Kenya has been forefront in the Constitutional review process that has witnessed the incorporation of numerous gains for women in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

  • The programme seeks to analyze and draft legislation and policy framework that propel meaningful participation and representation of women in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. It is also directed towards reforming institutional culture that hinders women from realizing their rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • Through this programme, the organization facilitates strategic engagement with Constitutional Offices, Parliament, Political Parties, Civil Society among other partners to play their rightful roles in advocating for respect, fulfillment and promoting of women rights and welfare at International, Regional and national level.
  • The programme is centred on the notion that democracy must be nurtured from within societies, hence FIDA Kenya builds the capacity of both duty bearers and rights holders on Constitution, legislative and policy advocacy.
  • FIDA Kenya currently maintains a database for women aspiring for various elective positions in Kenya. In recognition that not all women may clinch elective positions, it works with women aspirants to ensure that they are able to strategically place themselves for nominated seats and cabinet positions in the 2013 general elections.

  • Elections

    The March 4th 2013 general elections proved to be the most challenging elections Kenya has ever witnessed. This is more so because they were the first elections under the constitution of Kenya (2010). Several institutional reforms were undertaken in the country to ensure that the electoral process in Kenya is free, fair and most importantly transparent and participatory.
    FIDA Kenya has been part of the whole electoral process in recognition that the election process is not a one off exercise but is instead an intricate process that culminates with the will of the people on the ballot box.
    In the interest of monitoring women’s participation, FIDA Kenya was involved in the whole electoral process in several ways:

  • Election observation of the General Elections through the Elections Observation Group (ELOG), a permanent national platform for civil societies, faith-based organizations and other key stakeholders interested in promoting citizen participation in the electoral processes which FIDA Kenya is a member
  • Observation of the By-Elections, party nominations which culminated in a report.
  • FIDA Kenya continues to provide a platform for women aspirants together with their campaign managers where they were trained in the political process all in the spirit of increasing the participation of women in the electoral process.
  • Integration of an SMS system to enhance reporting of women rights violations before, during and after the elections with continuity into future programming to promote an coordinated platform for reporting of women rights violation cases.

  • Women, Peace and Security

    FIDA Kenya in partnership with other Civil society Actors, seeks to ensure that women are effectively engaged in peace processes not as passive actors, but as equal partners in peace and conflict resolution processes; in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that recognizes women as equal parties to conflict and conflict resolution processes. Through this intervention:

  • We seek to to rapidly create a more protective and peaceful environment in future elections through engagement with key stakeholders in the communities to disseminate knowledge on the election process, devolution of power, conflict mitigation and gender based violence to community members.
  • We seek to create a total of 14000 women voices of peace thereby creating a community peace movement that will impact on the nation’s peace building and conflict resolution efforts
  • These interventions are designed to contribute to conflict prevention and mitigation efforts in Kenya during the pre- and post-election period while laying the groundwork for some more sustained efforts in the future. It seeks to enhance the capacity of the local community to create safer environments and spaces for women and girls and to strengthen local women’s networks to engage in community conflict mitigation and peace building initiatives.
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