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Kenyan Women Condemn Sexual Crimes and Inter-Ethnic Killings in Post-Election Strife

Appeal to mediation team to respond to urgent needs of women and children

By Pamela Tuiyott
Partnerships and Communications Officer
UNIFEM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa

Date: 30 January 2008

Nairobi — Kenyan women have called for an immediate end to inter-ethnic killings, impunity, and gross violations of human rights, especially the increasing cases of sexual crimes and gang rapes. In a communiqué handed over to the mediation team led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, they demand the proclamation of a national disaster as well as the enhancement of security for the civilian population by the State.


Concerned about the displacement of more than 300,000 people, loss of homes and livelihoods, Kenyan women appeal for the urgent response to the special needs of women and children who constitute the majority of the internally displaced persons.


They also call for constitutional reforms and measures to restore the rule of law and order, and appeal to all Kenyans to respect and embrace different democratic opinions. Representing ethnic, religious, generational, political, class and professional diversities, they want to assert their rights as citizens and key stakeholders of Kenya and call for a process of nation building founded on principles of truth, justice, peace and reconciliation. This process must include participation and continued engagement at all levels and stages of the mediation processes as reaffirmed in UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; the African Union Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality; and the protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa.


Consultations have been held over a period of two weeks to deliberate on means of getting women effectively engaged in national efforts to resolve the conflict. The consultations have been facilitated by a number of organizations, including Action Aid International, Vital Voices, Nairobi Peace Initiative, Urgent Action Fund-Africa and UNIFEM.


Acknowledging the challenging task ahead, Annan has reaffirmed the need to have women at the peacebuilding table. He has committed to advocating for women’s participation in the mediation processes and to challenging the leaders in government and ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) to bridge the gap between their words and action in realizing peace. He has encouraged women to continuously engage the mediation processes for their voices to be heard. “To realize peace, we need complete mobilization of society at all levels; we need the women,” he said.


For more information, please contact Ms. Pamela Tuiyott, Partnerships and Communications Officer, UNIFEM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, pamela.tuiyott[at],  +254 20 762-4960 .

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