Kenyatta University Marks 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence

The global theme for 2021 was “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”  , where color orange symbolized a brighter future, free of violence for women.

Kenyatta University’s Centre for Gender Equity & Empowerment in collaboration with the Department of Sociology, Gender & development Studies, and Kenyatta University Women’s Economic Empowerment (KU-WEE) Hub, marked the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence from 25th November – 10th December 2021. Students and staff participated in various activities that demonstrated the institution’s solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence against women, not only in at Kenyatta University but also the community.

The first activity in the program involved a two -hour roundtable discussion that engaged various key speakers on the theme. The Thursday November 25th 2021virtual seminar incorporated Masters, and Doctorate students, and Faculty. The day was embraced by Dr. Richard Wafula, Dean, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, who gave the opening remarks on the endemic of SGBV in Kenya. Prof. Judith Waudo, Director, Centre for Gender Equity & Empowerment and Hub leader (KU-WEE Hub) and Dr. Samuel Mwangi, Ag.  Chairperson Sociology, Gender also spoke about the urgent need to end SGBV, especially in institutions of higher learning.  Prof. Grace Wamue-Ngare, Gender Faculty and Research Associate in charge of Policy and Advocacy at the KU-WEE Hub, who was the convener, introduced the   program highlighting the meaning and theme for 2021 as well as the key highlights of the year’s scheduled activities.

Josephine Thua, a gender Ph. D student deliberated on the Manifestations of SGBV Among Female Postgraduate Students in Kenyan Universities; while Edith Murogo, from the Centre for Domestic Training & Development, gave a presentation on SGBV Response Models in Kenya.  In addition, Dr. Grace Okong’o, Lecturer & Researcher at the KU-WEE Hub’s SGBV Project spoke on   the SGBV Prevention Models, including the Tamar Campaign, on schedule to be pilot tested in Tharaka Nithi County in 2022. To climax the day was Pamela Karimi, an MA gender student, who summed the presentations by giving a paper highlighting the Government’s Commitment Towards Eradication of Gender Based Violence, Progress & Gaps. The concluding remarks were given by Prof. Elishiba Kimani, Dean, Graduate School (represented by Prof. Ngare) who expressed gratitude to the organizers for “finally” remembering the graduate students, a category she said was mostly ignored when SGBV in the Universities was discussed. In her remarks, she implored the team to undertake more activities targeting the post graduate students, as these were also affected by the vice.

The second activity began on 25 November and involved KU undergraduate students who held peaceful campaign marches around the Campus to protest against SGBV.  Led by Prof. Grace Ngare and Dr Grace Okong’o, the students assembled at the shopping center and began their campus walk. This was followed by brief sensitization talks on the year’s theme in selected classes, hostels and various central places such as shopping center and Center for People Living With Disabilities. The sensitization activities were carried on every Thursday until the end of the 16 days of Activism.

Students and staff converged at the KU-WEE Hub offices before marching to sensitize the University community about GBV

A key highlight of the season was the Community Outreach, led by Prof Grace Ngare, other 4 Faculty members and 21 students to the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Evergreen Congregation, based in Runda. Prof. Ngare highlighted the theme as well as sensitized the community about the issue, which was well received with requests for repeat presentations.

Besides the Church event, there was a sensitization talk show on KUTV presented by Gender Faculty, Dr Pacificah Okemwa, Chairperson, Department of Sociology, Gender and Development studies and Dr Grace Okong’o. The two highlighted the issue of SGBV at the workplace, the causes response and preventative measures. KU students also presented SGBV issues at campuses on the KUTV through which they passionately spoke about the manifestations, challenges and the responses.

The activities were also shared on our Facebook, Instagram and twitter

To read about KU-WEE Hub’s SGBV Study, click here



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