COVAW is implementing a 1 year project in Narok South with funding from Amplify Change.The project is titled addressing cultural practices that are harmful to women and girls sexual and reproductive health in Narok, Kenya.This is in 7 community units namely: Olkinyei, Aitong, Sekenani, Naroosura, Olmekenyu,Naikarra,and Ololulunga.
The objective of this project is to strengthen local capacity to prevent harmful cultural practices of GBV,FGM and the resulting early marriage, unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
The project addresses the following thematic areas:
- Gender Based Violence
- Addressing causes of unsafe abortions
- Challenging stigma,discrimination , attitude and laws.
This project employs a multi-tiered advocacy approach as follows:
National level – Engagement with the Anti-FGM board to provide technical support to the board in developing and rolling out programs, policies, guidelines and procedures towards the implementation of the act.
County level -County leaders and officer engagement towards implementation of laws and policies that prevent and respond to the harmful cultural practices.
Community level– Community activists selection training and support on community engagement methods- how to lead community conversations on the harmful cultural practices that affect women and girls.
The project addresses the following challenges:
- Strong adherence to Maasai cultural harmful practices that paves way for violation of SRHR of women and girls
- Non-participation of women in decision making which prevents women from making decisions about their own sexual health
- Silence and secrecy surrounding SRH practices among Maasai women/ girls
- Lack of technical capacity and will to dialogue with the constituents on the project thematic areas (which though part of culture are prohibited by law
- Lack of structures and guidelines to guide the implementation of the Anti-FGM Act.
The project expects to realize the following changes and outcomes:
- Through community conversations there will be change in gender & social norms to create space where women’s voices are listened to and respected.
- By regularly speaking about the practice and their effects on SRH there will be a mind shift among men, women and the youth.
- With the mobilization of the drivers of the law against GBV FGM ,using a multi-sectorial approach will enable more effective actions against these practices.