Voting Closed:

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

NGOs train law students on gender-sensitive litigation

They were taught how to effectively handle issues of GBV

In Summary

• The training workshop was attended by law students from CUEA as well as Africa Nazarene University, JKUAT, and Technology, and Kabarak University.

• The students were told that they had an obligation to hold into account the government in the handling of such cases.

Winfred Odali, Strategigic Litigation Advocate from CREAW, Felix Opondo, Clinical Psychologist, Mariam Kamunyu, lecturer at CUEA and Ruth Nekura, legal director for ISLA during a panel discussion at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Karen. February 11, 2022.
Winfred Odali, Strategigic Litigation Advocate from CREAW, Felix Opondo, Clinical Psychologist, Mariam Kamunyu, lecturer at CUEA and Ruth Nekura, legal director for ISLA during a panel discussion at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Karen. February 11, 2022.
Image: /SELINA TEYIE

The Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) has called on the government to fast-track the solving of gender-based violence cases.

The association said in a press address that justice was taking too long to be achieved for survivors, and it had great consequences on their lives.

AMWIK said that there is a huge gap in the solving of these cases by the authorities that often see victims miss out on justice.

The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) also recognised this gap in the course of their work helping GBV victims with legal aid.

They, therefore, partnered with the Institute of Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) to train law students on Friday at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Karen, to handle gender-based violence cases in a more impactful way.

Winfred Odali, Strategic Litigation Advocate at CREAW said that lawyers should strive to work beyond just winning cases on GBV and get to help victims more.

“There is a gap that exists between reporting of cases till they get justice at the courts that needs to be addressed,” Odali said.

The training workshop was attended by law students from CUEA as well as Africa Nazarene University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Kabarak University.

Odali said that rights groups such as them have an opportunity to give more than just legal aid to their clients, they can also give public legal litigation to them.

“Public legal litigation aims at creating a wider social impact. What it does is make sure that comprehensive help is given to clients,” she said.

The students were told that they had an obligation to hold into account the government in the handling of such cases.

Anne Wanjiku, a law student from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology speaking at the training on gender based violence at the Catholic Univerity of Eastern Africa, Karen. February 11, 2022.
Anne Wanjiku, a law student from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology speaking at the training on gender based violence at the Catholic Univerity of Eastern Africa, Karen. February 11, 2022.
Image: /SELINA TEYIE

Marriam Kamunyu, a lecturer at CUEA, said that public legal litigation would help them conduct due diligence on the state in matters of GBV.

“The government can be held accountable for its failures to act on cases of GBV because there are already set mechanisms for preventing and protecting people from gender-based violence,” she said.

She said that prosecuting and punishing perpetrators is a responsibility of the government and legal action can be taken against them for failure to do so.

James Mureithi, , a law student from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa speaking at the training on gender based violence at the Catholic Univerity of Eastern Africa, Karen. February 11, 2022.
James Mureithi, , a law student from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa speaking at the training on gender based violence at the Catholic Univerity of Eastern Africa, Karen. February 11, 2022.
Image: /SELINA TEYIE

James Mureithi, a law student from CUEA said that he would work to ensure that a lot of awareness is created at the community level to help stop gender-based violence.

"Some men for example feel too ashamed to report GBV because they feel as if they are not men enough to be able to defend themselves but they should know that they can be able to report," he said.

Keith Wanyangu, also a Law Student from CUEA, said that he learned to hold the state accountable for its failures when GBV occurs.

"The state has a responsibility to better the systems that already exist for example the Sexual Offenses Act of 2006 which has some problematic areas that make access to justice for victims of violence difficult," he said.