"VOF Week 4: (For the Kibera people)."
I want to be Communications Manager in a firm to influence to women in our society. I want to use my experience to advance the voices of underprivileged women and see at least a woman every month come to the realisation that she is beautiful, important and worthy of being treated in the same way. I want to see a woman say no to sexual abuse, domestic violence and say no to marital rape. If not so, speak out and seek justice. I wan tto see women heal from their deplorable lifestyles and the woman of Africa set free to live up to her fullest potential. I want to see women increase in leadership in Kenya, like our counterparts in Uganda and Rwanda, since we are the majority voters. I wan to see women value themselves and leave marriages that are potentially harmful to their physical and mental wealth. The Mathari Mental hospital in Nairobi- Kenya has many women who are termed mad. Studies show that such women are not mad, but were taken in this mental institution because they were depressed from Domestic Violence acts. No! This has to stop. I want to see the cries of our mothers cease. I want to see them happy, loving in peace and dignity. They do not have to carry the weight of their families at the expense of their lives, which are divinely given. That is not why they were brought to this earth.
Kibera is East Africa’s largest slum, it is located on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, and is home to nearly one million people, more than one quarter of Nairobi’s total population. Although Kibera is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, it does not appear on most Kenyan maps. At least half of Nairobi citizens already live in slums, which are characterized by a lack of basic services, substandard housing or illegal and inadequate structures, overcrowding, unhealthy and hazardous living conditions, insecurity of tenure or property rights, poverty and social exclusion.
Estimates of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Kibera range from 10-25%. Domestic violence, rape and physical assaults are a common part of life for women in Kibera. Women are often treated as property and given little or no opportunity to make decisions about their lives or bodies. We are working to ensure that the Sexual Offences Act- 2006 is fully implemented and understood by the constituents of Kibera we is continually working to ensure that the Act is properly implemented. The Act affords women some legal redress against the mind-boggling prevalence of sexual violence in Kenya. But the Act is not well known. It criminalized rape, defilement, sex tourism, and sexual harassment. Implementation remains limited to date, and sexual offences remained largely under-reported. We developed a popular version of the Act and in addition translated the same into Kiswahili, the most basic and common language for wider dissemination.
Over the last number of years, CREAW has been implementing community awareness/ empowerment programmes in Kibera with a focus to end gender-based violence. We have established networks with community members and have disseminated information and materials on women human rights. We hold legal aid clinics in Kibera providing free legal advice to women survivors of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and set up an informal referral system using women leaders through which cases of SGBV are referred to us for psycho-social support and legal advice.
Early this year, we established an Outreach Centre in the slums and a pool of paralegals based at the community level. The paralegals are working to eliminate sexual and gender based violence acts that violate the rights of women and girls to bodily integrity and due process.
By joining world pulse, I will be able to highlight the stories of survivors of the area, among other areas where we have implemented our programs. My capacity as a change-agent will be enhanced to facilitate networking with stakeholders in forging better methods to educate and empower Kibera to be self-reliance and fight against SGBV. I will also continue to mentor women who will be change-agents to their peers. I long to see a better Kibera.