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Government Should Support Community Activists Working to Protect Survivors

Gladys Koskey, 48, has always kept her home in Trans Mara, southwestern Kenya, open to friends and relatives. But in the past decade, her home has also become an important refuge for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Gladys leads a group of…
Gladys Koskey helps a nine-years-old rape survivor who lives in her home with her writing.
News

Low-Income Communities Miss out on Kenya’s Covid-19 Relief

Jane Mbula, 50, a community worker in Mukuru Kayaba in eastern Nairobi, followed the news around Covid keenly. She heard the news in March 2020 when Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the first Covid-19 case in the country. The president later…
People stand outside a purple building with a mural on it that says "Corona is Real"
News

Women and Matrimonial Property Rights in Kenya

Women in Kenya still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Here are some of their stories.  Issa B: When her abusive husband left her, she was ordered to return her dowry My husband turned…
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Kenyans are speaking about divorce more openly than ever before. But women still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Human Rights Watch found that the process for dividing up this property discriminates…
Women registering for a community dialogue meeting organized by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) with the Milimani Law Courts in Kibera, Nairobi.
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Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
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Colombians, Venezuelans at the Mercy of Armed Groups

Who are the armed groups and what are they fighting over?  F: There are three armed groups in Catatumbo. The largest one and most powerful is the Army of National Liberation (ELN), a left-wing guerilla group formed in the 1960s. The second…
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Human Rights Official Returns to her Hometown to Help Change its Track Record

Anny Castillo’s job is to help change all of this. Castillo is head of the Tumaco “personeria,” a human rights agency. In Colombia, each municipality has a personeria, an office designed to promote access to public services, address human…
Tumaco, Colombia
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Activists in Lamu Challenge Power Despite Threats

Tell me about Lamu and the activists you spoke to. Lamu county is a beautiful, scenic tourist destination with long white beaches lined with palm trees and hotels and cafes catering to foreign and domestic tourists. The mostly-Muslim…
Residents and environmental activists  protesting against  lack of consultations and government failure to address environmental concerns in respect ofo the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project in Lamu island, Kenya, March 1, 2012.
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  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
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New Book Details the Bloody Rise of Paramilitaries With Government Ties

Why did you write this book? When I finished working in Colombia in 2010, I had a lot of stories that I hadn’t been able to tell. I had met many brave ordinary Colombians who stood up to the paramilitaries and other armed…
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno at a community meeting in Curvaradó, Chocó, 2009
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Widespread Sexual Violence during Kenya’s 2017 Elections

    Judith Wavinya*, 30, was walking home on a cool August night in her neighborhood of Dandora in Nairobi, after spending the evening with her sister. She had to get back home to her three children and to prepare for the new day –…
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home. They asked if she knew them, threatened her with knives, and took her to an isolated place where they beat her badly and one of them
News
Kenya will hold presidential and general elections in August. Campaigns are a difficult time for Kenyans, who may associate voting with tension and chaos. They keenly remember how 2007 post-election violence split groups down ethnic…
An anti-riot police officer aims a teargas canister while journalists cover an anti-corruption protest in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. November 3, 2016.
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Kenya is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which provides shelter to 360,000 mostly Somali refugees. In May 2016, Kenya’s government disbanded its department responsible for refugees and announced plans to repatriate Somalis and close…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
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Although it is more than eight years since hundreds of women were brutally raped during post-election violence in Kenya, the harrowing events of 2007/8 continue to affect survivors to this day. Destitute, in ill health and often…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
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Kenya’s Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world. Anthropologists consider it the cradle of civilization, where some of the earliest hominid fossils were found. Roughly 300,000 people live around Lake Turkana, and most…
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Hussein Khalid, Director of Kenya Human Rights Organization Haki Africa, Tells His Story

It was April when Kenya’s government froze the bank accounts of the human rights organization Haki Africa. Kenyan officials then raided Haki Africa’s office, taking away their computers and all financial records. Their health insurance company suspended…
Hussein Khalid speaking at Kenya’s National Conference on Rights and Security.
News

As Women Flee Violence in Rural Areas, Cities Offer No Safe Haven

I sat down with Mercedes on a sleepy afternoon in Medellin, Colombia. She was nervous. I was exhausted. Mercedes was my 60th interview with women and girls in Colombia – all of whom survived sexual or family violence, and all of whom had fled their close-…
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As told by Meghan Rhoad, women's rights researcher Nasra, a petite Somali woman wearing a navy blue hijab and long skirt, rocked her sleeping baby in her arms as she told me the story of how, two and a half weeks earlier, she had arrived here at Dadaab…
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As told by Janet Walsh, Deputy Director, Women’s Rights Division

Eight years ago, I walked into the Nairobi office of the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness expecting a mildly helpful discussion of my project on women's property rights in Kenya. Ann Njogu, CREAW's Chairperson, was clearly a very busy and…