Protecting marginalized girls in Kenya
In Kenya, stereotypical gender roles and perceptions have long plagued cultural practices and understandings. As a result, families have been more inclined to invest their limited resources in sons, while girls carry the burden of domestic duties, resulting in lower school performance and school completion rates for girls.
Over time, this deep-rooted discrimination has also led to gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, child trafficking and early and forced marriage – leaving girls in coastal communities especially vulnerable.
Thanks to you, we’re putting a stop to this.
Girls in Kenya participate in a peaceful demonstration, marching forward for their rights.
Your contributions are helping to protect at-risk girls in Kenya, educating communities on gender equality and child rights, keeping girls in school and stopping violence and abuse before it starts.
Your support has helped:
- Educate 1,600 students (800 girls) on their rights and the importance of gender equality
- Support students across 32 schools to become peer educators and ambassadors for children’s rights, as well as take part in Safe Spaces clubs where youth can comfortably learn about and discuss important topics like child protection, life skills, self-esteem, decision-making, relationships, sexual reproductive health and sexually transmitted diseases
- Train nearly 1,800 parents on supporting the safety of their children, equipping and motivating them to better understand the problem of gender inequality and the challenges youth – particularly girls – face
- Train teachers across 15 schools to implement child protection measures like Speak-Out Boxes, where students can anonymously report incidents of child abuse and provide feedback on the schools
- Hold 5 children’s assemblies, giving girls and boys a platform to raise their voices and be heard by policy officials on issues relevant to them
- Initiate school elections in 90 schools, offering youth the opportunity to nominate student governments that represent their interests and provide input on matters specific to their needs
Because I am a Girl … president! A group of students participate in a school election – voting in new confidence and a new era of equality.
It may start with empowering girls, but it doesn’t end there. Not only are you giving girls knowledge of – and improved access to – their rights, you’re ensuring they’re included in local governance so these standards are supported and sustained.
Until now, when girls reported abuse to local authorities, deeply ingrained gender discrimination often led to troubling outcomes: families were pressured into withdrawing their complaints, payments to victims’ families were negotiated in lieu of proceeding with prosecution and victims were even forced to marry the perpetrators who inflicted the harm on them.
With your help, this is all beginning to change.
By strengthening and positively reinforcing the legal and social systems to protect survivors, you’re support is helping to ensure that when girls do report abuse, they’re actually getting the help they need.
A student leader speaks out to her community about what matters most to her and her friends. “This will keep my spirits high and continue my participation because it is my right as a child,” one girl shared.
With your backing, our staff are working hard with local organizations and government bodies, such as Kenya’s national child helpline, to improve response, referral, resolution, rescue and recovery procedures for at-risk girls and children – ensuring they have proper support services available to keep them safe and healthy.
Additionally, three case management committees – including teachers, health staff, police, judiciary leaders and counselors – have been trained on effective measures to prevent, detect, report and take action against instances of sexual or physical abuse, with several more committees and positive actions to come.
Because of you, communities across countries like Kenya are beginning fresh chapters by recognizing, protecting and encouraging the true power of girls.
Thank you for helping girls in Kenya, and all around the world, take the lead in a new age of empowerment, equality and unleashed potential.
Return to the Because I am a girl project