Kenya Lists Gender-Based Violence Shelters an Essential Service

The government has reportedly listed provision of shelters and safe houses for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence as an essential service, a major milestone in the protection of women and girls' rights' in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Child protection service providers also fall in the same category. Gender equality advocates have lauded the government for heeding their plea to recognise the crucial needs of women and girls at this vulnerable period when SGBV cases are bound to increase. The Executive Director of the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, Wangechi Wachira has said: "By prioritising the provision of shelters and safe houses alongside children protection officers, the government has eased the evacuation of SGBV survivors from unsafe spaces". Kenyans in Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru are disgruntled by the current partial lockdown in these areas. All public gatherings in these hardest-hit counties - including sports matches, church services and political meetings - were banned until further notice. As of April 21, 2021 Kenya has recorded 152,523 Covid-19 cases, 103,838 recoveries, and 2,519 deaths.


Women from Mokutani in Tiaty East Sub-county hold placards to relay anti-GBV messages as part of a celebration to mark 16 Days of Activism against violence (file photo).

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