Participants during group work. (Photo by UN Women)
Kenya has had a history of electoral violence resulting in loss of lives and livelihoods with disproportionate impacts on women and girl’s due to underlying socio economic and cultural dynamics. Global studies from key humanitarian responses indicate that women are 14 times more likely to die in comparison with men in the event of violence, while global UNHCR reports show that approximately 80% of the world’s refugees are women and children. Evidence shows that majority of those who were displaced, died or injured during the 2007/8 post-election violence (PEV) were women. Over 85% of the 524 Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases reported in Nairobi hospital were women and girls. Constant monitoring in identified hotspot areas has revealed that there is a likelihood of violence because of the electioneering. Based on these assumptions, humanitarian partners project that some 409,000 people might require humanitarian assistance. This includes some 220,000 potential internally displaced persons, particularly in high-risk counties.
It is important for key stakeholders involved in planning and responding to humanitarian situation that may arise because of election related violence to understand the unique challenges faced by women and children. In this regard, UN Women Kenya initiated capacity building programme targeting the eight humanitarian hubs and focusing on gender based violence as part of its support to Kenya’s preparedness planning for 2017 general elections. A total of 85 participants out of which 49 were women attended the three trainings.
The objective of the training programme was to equip key humanitarian stakeholders with knowledge, skills and tools to monitor, document and respond to the unique gender concerns of women and girls before, during and after the elections. This was to be made possible with the use of key tools and manuals for gender analysis and gender mainstreaming with a long-term objective of integrating gender in disaster preparedness, response and recovery; and to develop an action plan on how to integrate gender in the humanitarian hub operations and plans.
The training programme was carried out in partnership with OCHA, Kenya Red Cross and technical capacities from Gender Standby Capacity Project ( GenCap) and focused on the linkage between national contingency planning and hub level preparedness, the importance of mainstreaming gender within the hub operations – including planning and response mechnisms, EGBV, gender analysis, gender in humanitarian programming cycle, Kenya Interagenct Rapid Assessment tool(KIRA) as a key rapid assessment tool, and application of the gender marker, facilitation skills among others.
To ensure there is data/ evidence on gender issues in the election cycle in various hubs the following is being done; mapping of hot spot areas, establishment of hub focal points, hub meetings, county contigency plans among others.
The training saw commitment from various hubs to:
- Review the contingency plans and integrate gender perspectives and mainstream KIRA
- Hold feedback meeting with other potential partners
- Meeting to discuss the 3 pillars (Humanitarian, Mass casualty and security)
- Train other hub members on gender mainstreaming and KIRA
- Work with County Governments to activate County disaster management committee
- Mapping and Mobilization of all stakeholders-(National Govt, County Govt, NGOS, FBOs, CBOs) to be aware and participate in preparation for Humanitarian response during elections (Including Stakeholders working on Gender issues)
- Sensitize member of the hub on EGBV issues using county government structures/National structures – ongoing (monitoring)
UN Women is committed to provide technical support towards reviewing the contingency plans for the hubs and provide manuals (EGBV) and other tools to support gender awareness trainings for humanitarian hubs.