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Summary Rose’s husband was abusive prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. He had been physically violent on multiple occasions, had threatened to kill her by stabbing or strangling her, and verbally abused her. The abuse continued and escalated after Rose…
News

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

Effective Law Enforcement, Access to Shelter, Financial Support Are Critical

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government’s response to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been too little, too late, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’: Violence against Women…
The back of a girl staring out a window
News
Doris is a 75-year-old woman from Kayaba informal settlement in Nairobi. As with most families in the settlement, her house is a single dilapidated room with mud walls, a corrugated iron roof, and dirt floors. There is no clean running water, and she…
People stand outside a purple building with a mural on it that says "Corona is Real"
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(Jerusalem, July 27, 2021) – Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups carried out attacks during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip and Israel that violated the laws of war and apparently amount to war crimes, Human Rights…
News

Biden Envoy Should Combat Actual Antisemitism, Not Israeli Criticism

On May 18, a group waving the Palestinian flag assaulted diners seated outside a Los Angeles restaurant after reportedly asking if they were Jewish. In New York City two days later, assailants pummeled a young man wearing a skullcap on the street, a…
Police stand guard in front of the Young Israel of Riverdale synagogue where glass windows were smashed in New York on April 25, 2021.
News

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
News

Education Ministry has a Crucial Role in Addressing Teen Pregnancies

“I want to [talk] about female candidates who sat for the…examination [while] in hospitals. As I celebrate, I also want to castigate our parents in the most severe terms possible.” These were the words of Kenya’s cabinet secretary for education,…
young mothers collect books library
News

Guardians Should Not Have Power to Bar Women from Travel

In a terrible backwards step, Gaza’s Supreme Judicial Council, a body run by Hamas authorities, issued a notice on February 14 allowing male guardians to restrict unmarried women’s travel. Israeli authorities already restrict the movement of two…
Women hold signs during a protest against the decision by Gaza's Supreme Judicial Council banning women from movement in and out of the Gaza Strip without the permission of her "guardian," in Gaza City, February 16, 2021. 
News

On Human Rights Day, Celebrating People Who Make the World Better

This Human Rights Day I’m celebrating my sister’s commitment to lifting up the lives of girls and giving them a chance at realizing their potential. I think of my sister Vicky as a warrior in the fight for human rights, and on December 10, I’m…
Vicky, a teacher in a girls’ school in Kenya, is dedicated to empowering girls. 
News

Harms Girls and Reduces Nation's Potential

"I didn't go back to school, because I didn't have anyone to give me advice," "Harriet" told me. "I wish someone would've come to talk to me about school and encourage me." We were sitting in   her brother's home in Migori county, western…
News
A Supreme Court review of the division of matrimonial property law may provide clarity for Kenyans on rights to land, houses, and other assets acquired during marriage. Over the last decade, Kenya has enacted laws to ensure equality of spouses in…
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Report
  Summary Ruth K., a 40-year-old Taita mother of two in Kilifi county, was struggling to support herself financially. In 2016, her husband forced her out of their matrimonial home, and she left with nothing. She said, “When you work on…
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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News
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.
News

Despite Law, Biased Practices Persist

(Nairobi) – Many women in Kenya are left without protection to claim their matrimonial property despite relative progress in the laws on paper, Human Rights Watch and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) said in a report released today. A…
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News

Kenyan authorities demolished hundreds of homes last month, leaving thousands homeless and without any support.

In early May, Kenyan authorities evicted more than 8,000 people in two of Nairobi’s informal settlements. Deprived of their homes, hundreds of families were forced to sleep out in the open for weeks. They not only had to gather around fires…
Alongside evicting residents in the Kariobangi North Sewerage settlement and surrounding areas, authorities used excavators to demolish homes, churches, shops, and schools, and destroyed personal belongings.
News

Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, women in Kenya still face hurdles in owning and using land and property. “I feel like a prisoner,” a 45-year-old widow told me last year during an interview about the subject in Kakamega. “I’m…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters