Question number 1
1. Read: FIDA 2007 Report on Kenyan Women. For each of the topics in the report, identify one thing that the Kenya women lawyers are concerned about.
It is clear that women forms the biggest part of the Kenya’s population, but irrespective of this fact they have no bargaining power and remain marginalized. According to the report released on 2007 by FIDA it clearly shows that, there are things that the Kenyan’s women lawyers wants it implemented. Some of these issues include,
There is a lot of gender discrimination in Kenya. What is clear is that the judicial language is gender neutral making it hard to identify and deal with gender discrimination. Therefore, these lawyers are looking forward to seeing that laws are clear for easy definition of gender discrimination and ensuring that discrimination is declared a penal offense.
Policy implementation for women advancement has been underway for quite some time, yet nothing has been achieved so far. For example, a commission for Gender development was formed, but it was not issued with an operational plan, which resulted into funding, as well as good relations with other close bodies, remain a problem. Therefore, these lawyers are pushing the government to have these problems solved so that the commission will be able to meet the expected outputs. They are also agitating for the draft of laws gender friendly, for example, the equality bill that would be a gateway to CEDAW provisions.
Another issue of concern is on sex roles and stereotyping. They are need of changing social and the cultural patterns especially by changing the school curriculum. The problem is that the drive towards stereotype change is highly limited to the basis of the education system. It is clear that during the referendum campaign issues of women went along unabated.
The other issue of concern is on acknowledgment that poverty leads into prostitution as well as other vices facing Kenyan women as they strive to earn a living. These lawyers are looking forward into seeing the government institute measures such as credit facilities to women. The problem is that implementation of these measures remains an unanswered question. Lack of prostitute’s rehabilitation centers is a paramount concern, which is currently lying under a small number of NGO’s.
In the political session, in Kenya, there is lack of clear political parties’ frameworks, for example, use of abusive language, violence among others all directed to women. This bars them from exercising their constitution rights through voting and participating in politics. The key concern here is on making sure that the government recognizes and gears the women participation in the public life. It is also clear that there is no women representation in high ranks in the government, for example, in the ministry as well as in international and regional bodies.
Discrimination is prevalent in the determination of a person’s nationality. The role or link to Kenyan nationality has been left to the male. This is clear as the spouse nationality identification in respect to the father’s nationality. It is the wish of the Kenya women lawyers that issues concerning women discrimination in citizenship be addressed in the expected constitution amendments. Again on the issue of discrimination, education should be assured to both girl and boy child. Therefore, issues on social and cultural practices that bar parents from sending a girl child to school should be addressed.
In terms of employment, research clearly shows that women represent a low number as compared to the whole work force. There is no women empowerment into the wage economy. As a result, women are concentrated on domestic correlated work, which is eventually poorly paid.
In the health sector, it is clear that there is a high level of women inability to address their sexual rights leading to HIV/Aids prevalence among women to double that of men. The concern in this case, is of ensuring that women empowerment through knowledge and logical support in order to make the right decisions on matters of sexual health choices is achieved.
Finally, most women live in the rural areas where they are employed in the agricultural sector, but have remarkably little control over the profits made in these areas. Therefore, women should be helped in order to have access to interest credit facilities by ensuring that women have the requisite collateral in order to take advantage of this service. The other issues are on ensuring that both men and women have access to courts for legal redress.