Ending Violence Against Women

Kenya - Ending Violence Against Women
Community activists march through the town of Mumias, Kenya during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Photo: UN Women/Luke Horswell

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) persists as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment and wider development goals. Kenya’s Bureau of National Statistics indicate 45 per cent of women aged 15–49 have experienced physical violence, and that the main perpetrators of physical violence against women are their husbands or intimate partners.

Kenya continues to witness social tolerance for violence against women, with 42 per cent of women and 36 per cent of men believing a man can be justified for beating his wife under certain circumstances. The prevention of VAWG must therefore challenge the negative social norms and attitudes that normalize such practices.

This VAWG prevention programme is grounded on the core rallying principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first by meeting the needs of women and girl survivors of violence. It is informed by other interna­tional and regional normative frameworks that Kenya is signatory to, as well as the National Policy for Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence (2014). The overarching objectives are twofold the first is to promote favourable social norms, attitudes and behaviours at community and individual levels to prevent VAWG, and the second is to increase the uptake of essential justice services by survivors.