- Introduction to CREAW
Centre for Rights Education and Awareness is a national feminist women’s right Non-Governmental Organization whose vision is a just society where women and girls enjoy full rights and live in dignity and mission is to champion, expand and actualise women’s and girls’ rights and social justice.
CREAW was founded in 1999 and registered in 2000 when it began carrying out interventions aimed at creating public awareness on women rights and provision of free legal aid and psycho-social support to female survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
Since the year 2000, CREAWs interventions have expanded and are informed by our theory of change which sets us apart as it puts women’s rights at the center of everything we do. We believe that (1) by developing expertise and knowledge through social enquiries (research), (2) by developing social problems into rights issues,(3) creating awareness and capacity of women to demand these rights and (4) engaging duty bearers in multiple ways – pressuring through courts and or strengthening their capacity to deliver will translate into better outcomes for women through shifts in policy ,legislation and practice that protect and promotes women’s rights
CREAW‘s strategic outcomes include
- Increased gender sensitive, responsive well-coordinated & resourced policy & legislation at National and County levels.
- Enhanced capacity of women led advocacy groups to demand for greater accountability in development and implementation of gender sensitive policy and legislation.
- Increased capacity and accountability of duty bearers in the implementation of laws and policies that protect and promote women’s rights.
- Increased levels of awareness and community action in championing women’s rights.
CREAW has 3 main programs which feed into these strategic outcomes and which seek to help us achieve our mission and vision. They are as follows;
Apart from interventions at National level, the programs geographical areas of intervention are in Nairobi, Meru, Kilifi, Bomet and Kericho.
This program seeks to ensure that
- There are gender responsive Laws and policies that holistically address Sexual and Gender based violence in Kenya.
The program concern itself with engaging law and policy makers at National and County levels to inform and champion the development and implementation of laws and policies that address SGBV.
- With regard to legislation, the program has provided technical expertise and supported advocacy initiatives that have led to the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 2006, Matrimonial Property Act 2013, the Marriage Act 2014 and the Protection against Domestic Violence Act 2015.
- In addition , CREAW through this program became the first non governmental organization in Kenya to partner with the Teacher Service Commisison ( TSC) in 2010 to support an audit of its policies systems and strutures that address teacher student sexual violence in Kenya. This saw CREAW partner with TSC to develop policy circular 3 of 2010 which outlaws Teacher student sexual violence and describes steps each school administration must take to ensure a safe learning enviornment for learners.
- The TSC circular is currently in effect and CREAW in partnership with Georgetown University is supporting the TSC to strenghten its policies around preventing and responding to teacher student sexual violence . This involves further revisions to strenghten the TSC code of regulation and Code of conduct for teachers which is in the final process of approval by the TSC.
- Under this program CREAW is also supporting a 3 year intervention in Kilifi and Meru aimed at strengthening the accountablity for implementation of GBV laws and policies specifically by the County governments , Health sector , Police , Judiciary and TSC.
ii. Women led groups are able to demand for greater accountability in development and implementation of gender sensitive policy and legislation
In this regard CREAW continues to partner with advocacy groups and networks particularly to ensure there is stronger accontability for imementation of laws and policies that address sexual and gender based violence . In Nairobi and specifically Kibera slum where CREAW has implemeneted interventions since 2000 we have partnered with Kibera Women for Peace (KWP), Kibera Slum Education Programme (KISEP), Kibera Paralegal Network (KIPNET), Kenya Organization of People Living with HIV (KOPLWA), HAKI Shape, Kibera Post Test Club (KIPOTEC), Youth Development Forum (YDF) and Institute of Development Welfare Services (IDEWES) and Pamoja FM. CREAW has worked to bring together these advocacy groups to engage duty bearers on improving GBV service delivery with an aim to ; increase access to Legal Aid services & Justice for GBV survivors in Kibera, improve case management and provision of coordinated GBV services in Kibera and increase community awareness and action towards addressing GBV in Kibera.
Following the successful implementation of 3 year USAID funded project in Kibera titled “Suluhisho ni mimi” CREAW witnessed Increase in cases of sexual violence cases reported to CREAW and referred between GBV service providers in Kibera as a result of strengthened partnership between CREAW, the GBV working group, community and other actors addressing GBV in Kibera. At the start of the project there were fewer than seven (7) community groups working together on addressing SGBV. However by the end of the project, CREAW was working with a total number of over 30 partners/GBV service providers were working closely with CREAW in the project. Total of 1368 women and girls survivors of violence were referred and received support through improved referrals. The project also saw increased uptake of psychosocial care services with more women accessing counselling services.
iii. Increased capacity and accountability of duty bearers in the implementation of laws and policies that protect and promote women’s rights
The program has seen CREAW engage informal justice systems in Nakuru and Tharaka Niithi to strengthen their understanding of women rights particularly as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya and to build their capacity to apply the Constitution and human rights standards in making gender sensitive decisions.
In addition in 2010, the program through a partnership with The United States Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program resulted in training of police recruits at Kiganjo on the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2006, on gender based violence and Human Rights.
Under this program CREAW has also used public interest litigation as a strategy to seek accountability from the Teacher Service Commission on implementation of circular 3 of 2010 and its own code of conduct and regulations. In a suit filed in the Constitutional Court on behalf of 2 minor sexually abused by a head teacher in Nakuru the Court found that the TSC, the concerned school and the head teacher who perpetrated the abuse were all liable for infringing the right to health, education, life and dignity of the 2 minor girls by failing to protect them from sexual abuse. The landmark ruling also saw damages of kshs 5 million awarded to the minor girls.
iv. Increased levels of awareness and community action in championing women’s rights.
The program has directly reached over 10,000 women and men in informal settlements in Nairobi through its outreach activities which combined us of magnet theatre , artivism ( public forums using art ,murals paintings on GBV ) , film screenings on GBV , community engagements using the SASA! Approach. CREAW has also used the SASA model as a community strategy in the informal settlement of Kibera to increase male involvement and empower right holders to prevent and respond to gender based violence through community led action. Through SASA!, CREAW continues to support targeted individuals, groups and community members to explore the “power” concept. What it is, how it is used, how it is abused and how power dynamics between women and men can change for the better.
Current Interventions under the Access to Justice Program
Under the Access to Justice program CREAW is currently implementing the following interventions
- Haki Yetu, Jukumu Letu
This is a 3 year intervention funded by the Netherlands Embassy In Kenya which seeks to strengthen accountability for the implementation of GBV related laws and policies in Meru and Kilifi Counties. The intervention focuses on strengthening capacity of GBV duty bearers (County governments, Police, Judiciary, health institutions, TSC & education institutions to implement GBV related laws and policies. In addition the project seeks to also improve coordination of GBV service delivery while strengthening capacity of women led groups to engage GBV duty bearers and carry out advocacy on GBV issues. The project interventions will directly reach a total of 19,450 people within Kilifi and Meru who include duty bearers, women from women led groups and wider community and men.
- Increased levels of awareness and community action in championing women’s rights using the SASA! Approach.
CREAW is using the SASA! Model to engage and empower communities in Kibera, Narok , Isiolo , Meru and Kilifi to change harmful social norms by realizing the ways in which power imbalance between men and women contributes towards violence against women and HIV/AIDS. This is primarily done through community dialogues/engagement forums. The forums bring together community members from different organized groups in the target communities who include men, women, youth and community leaders to discuss these matters and draw community solutions on how to stop sexual and gender based violence and how to protect survivors of violence. The dialogues will also include discussions into the different legislations for prevention of GBV and protection of GBV survivors. These legislations include; The Kenya Constitution 2010, SOA Act 2006, FGM Act 2011, Matrimonial Property Act 2014 and the Marriage Act 2013.
- Haki na Usalama
CREAW as part of a consortium which includes Liverpool VCT, Nairobi Women’s GVRC, MenKen and Megen is implementing interventions in Kericho and Bomet aimed at addressing gender based violence in the tea sector. The project targets tea farmers in plantations and out growers who are the main beneficiaries of the intervention. Through this intervention, the Consortium seeks to reduce by 20% incidents of sexual and gender based violence while prioritising sexual harassment and behaviour change as a key issue. CREAW is targeting 4000 women and girls living in Kericho and Bomet Counties to be protected and empowered to better exercise their right to life, health and dignity as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
This program is primarily concerned with strengthening meaningful participation of women leaders in decision making spaces at national and county levels. The program focuses on
- Strengthening and expanding the pipeline of women leaders to enter political and non-political decision making spaces.
- Supporting women leaders already in political and non-political decision making spaces to better articulate and champion women’s needs and priorities. Specifically in the formulation of gender responsive policies, legislation, budgets and projects.
- Strengthening capacity of women led groups to carry out advocacy and engage with duty bearers around issues that are priority for women.
Following the 2013 general elections CREAW provided technical support to over 80 female aspirants and 21 women supported by CREAW entred various decision making spaces in Parliament and at County levels . Following the elections ,CREAW continued to work with these women leaders who have played a crucial role in the development and passage of legislation and policy at both the National and County levels .
In addition CREAW has supported women led groups in 5 counties ( Meru , Tharaka Niithi , Nyeri , Kiambu , Nakuru ) to form county accountability cells whose main aim is to engage with the respective County Governments and duty bearers and champion womens issues . This also includes strenghtening their capacity to organize and paticipate in key decision making spaces such as public participation hearings within the respective counties.
Under this program CREAW is currently working towards increasing the number and voices of women in decision making spaces ( political and non political ) in Meru , Tharaka Niithi , Nyeri and Kitui Counties. We are currently supporting a total of 40 women leaders across the 4 Counties.
Securing not more than 2/3rds principle at national level
Under this program CREAW has also employed the use of public interest lititgation to contribute towards our strategic outcome “Increased gender sensitive, responsive well-coordinated & resourced policy & legislation at National level. Specifically CREAW has been at the fore front of ensuring compliance to the gender rule by state organs and has prosecuted at least 4 petitions in the Constitutional Court seeking to compel the executive and parliament to adhere to the rule particularly in appointments to public offices.
Currently CREAW is leading a consortium of petitioners who include Kenya Human Rights Commission, CRAWN Trust, National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) who have successfully obtained a judgement from the Constitutional court finding that Parliament is illegally constituted and has failed in its responsibility to pass legislation giving effect to the gender principle. The matter is currently on appeal.
Under the governance and leadership Program CREAW is implementing interventions in Narok and Isiolo Counties . In Narok our interventions are focused on (i) Promoting changes in social norms, attitudes and practices that lead to a reduction in sexual and gender based violence and other harmful practices and (ii) Improving gender responsive SRH services at the community and county level.
In Isiolo our interventions are focused on (i) Identifying and training cohorts of grassroots rural women to influence budgets and policies within County health planning processes which affect maternal health and neo-nates; ii) Supporting biannual stakeholders forums through District and County health management teams to lobby for improved coordination, planning and review progress of maternal and neo-nate services and outcomes; iii) Training and supporting health facility committees in planning, budgeting, management and policy operationalization at facility level; iv) Establishing, train and support Community Accountability committees in monitoring MNH services at health facility levels on quarterly basis and train community facilitators in use and facilitation of score cards ; v) Facilitating women groups to engage at the local facility management of MNH services through brokered meetings of mother to mother groups and communities through community dialogue days with facility management.
Some of the achievements under this program include
- Merti maternity renovated, theatre completed, ambulances allocated and user fees scrapped off following SASA activism.
- Inua Dada an initiative run by SASA Activist to empower and rescue girls from early marriages and FGM – So far has rescued 23 girls .
- HFMC of Kulamawe, Korbesa and Kinna demonstrate best use for RBF by renovating their facilities – Instead of 60/40 sharing, facilities have agreed to do 20/80 where much of the funds goes towards infrastructural development of facilities
- A total of 9651 out of 12,000 people (4773 Females and 4878 Males) so far reached through various community and county engagements
- 10 out of the 75 women leaders trained to champion increased MNH budget allocations through their participation in public forums have publicly expressed interest to seek elective political office in 2017 to action their convictions on funds utilization at county level.
- GK prison facility waiting bay renovated through community action spearheaded by the trained HFMC, SASA activists and Men groups.
CREAW works in partnership with other various human rights institutions and networks which include the He for She campaign and the Keeping the promise campaign. In addition CREAW also a member of the National GBV working group which is coordinated by the National Gender and Equality Commission ( NGEC) , the National Women’s Steering Committee, and is a co-convener of the Africa Unite Kenya chapter which is the Kenya chapter of the UN secretary general’s campaign against gender based violence and the National Gender and Equality Commission.