USIU Africa in Kenya is among the first academic institutions in Kenya to embrace the HeForShe movement. A HeForShe club was formed in 2016. Gender parity and sexual harassment have been the issues the institution faces and has taken on.
As the world marked the International Women’s Day Globally across public and private sector, institutions like academia were not left behind. The HeForShe club, organised a gender equality awareness week for the Spring Semester 2018. The objective was to create awareness on gender equality, discrimination and bias and the role that society needs to play and embrace towards a more gender balanced world.
The Gender Equality Awareness Week 2018 themed “Consent Awareness”, involved several activities towards the build up to the International Women’s Day including games and trivia, photo sessions, HeForShe custom manicures, men’s yoga session as well as a cross dressing competition. This brought on board other clubs interested in addressing gender equality issues such as International Association of Students in Economics and Management (AIESEC), Michezo Afrika, Red Cross, Young Diplomats Forum, Public Speaking and the Men’s Rugby team.
On March 8thbrought together students and faculty heads lead by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, UN Women Ending Violence Against Women and Girls programme specialist Ms. Grace Wangechi, gender activist, and a psychologist from the Counselling department.
According to the Global UN Women report Turning Promises into Action, only 56% of women aged 15-49 (married or in a union) who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
Following several incidents of alleged sexual assaults reported recently, the HeForShe club undertook sensitized students on the importance of consent in sexual relationships and informed them of the various support systems offered by the University and other organization in case of sexual assault.
“We all have experienced a form of gender based violence or at least know someone who has, the main challenge lies on reporting.” she added encouraging students to make use of the available youth friendly reporting platforms that include the GBV Kenya hotline 1195 and the Service providers directory.”
The university has made several strides towards the attainment of gender parity and fight against gender based violence which include the recently launch of a Sexual Harassment Policy.
National GBV hotlines
LVCT one2one youth hotline 1190
Kimbilio GBV hotline 1193,
Childline Kenya 116
FiDA SMS platform 21661
Police 999 / 112
Red Cross Society 0703037000 | 0722206958 | 0733333041
Office of Director of Public Prosecutions +254 2732090/ 2732240/ 0723202880/ 0787880580
Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors 254-721296912, 254-733761242
UWIANO SMS Plattform 108