Coalition of Violence Against Women (COVAW) - Kenya
Quick information guide
National, Regional and International legal frameworks have provisions on promoting access to justice for all:
- The Constitution, 2010 has rafts of provisions, specifically Articles 10, 48, 50, 159 and 174.
- The Government committed to provide state funded legal aid and education as conduits to enhancing access to justice.
- Kenya developed a robust legal and policy framework aimed at promoting legal aid to expand access to justice to her citizens.
- Existence of a Legal Aid National Action Plan 2017-2022
Key Regional and International frameworks
African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa
- Article 8 (a,c and f) Women and men are equal before the law and shall have the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. The Charter obliges parties to pay particular attention to women's access to legal aid
Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women
- Article 2(b and c) mandates state parties to adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, to prohibit discrimination against women;
- Article 15(1 and 2) urges state parties to accord to women equality with men before the law;
Accessing Legal Aid in Kenya
The enactment of the National Legal Aid and Awareness Policy, 2015 and the Legal Aid Act 2016, Kenya adopted a collaborative and systemic approach that brings together both state and non-state actors in the delivery of legal aid.
Through the National Legal Aid and Awareness Programme (NALEAP), the Government of Kenya has developed the National Legal Aid and Awareness Policy (NLAAP) which addresses issues pertaining to legal aid and access to justice in the country.
The National Legal Aid and Awareness Policy:
- emphasizes on the need to ensure the right to legal aid as a constitutional right;
- recognizes disparities in provision of legal aid and provides relevant policy directions;
- ensures multi-sectoral approach to addressing poor provision of legal aid in the country; and
- ensures evidence-based planning and resource allocation.
Coalition of Violence Against Women (COVAW)
Over the years, COVAW has invested in empowering women and girls to claim their rights; enabling equitable access to services, resources and opportunities; facilitating greater access to justice for survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV); and supporting change agents opposed to and committed to eradication of all forms of VAWG.
This is done through supporting development and implementation of gender progressive laws, policies and guidelines and consistent engagement with different actors to prevent and respond to VAWG and to hold perpetrators of these violations accountable. Read more
Legal aid services Provided
COVAW seeks to address challenges linked to limited access to information by women and girls about their rights, difficulty in obtaining legal services, as well as financial insecurities that affects their access to legal support, leading to difficulty in navigating court systems. These conditions reduce the effectiveness of the justice systems in preventing and providing redress for victims of SGBV.
Other services provided
1. Women economic empowerment
COVAW acknowledges that greater economic empowerment of women and girls will enable them and their families to achieve greater independence and power. They seek through this pillar, to strengthen women and girls’ position as key economic actors. This has been identified as one way of reducing their exploitation, marginalization and vulnerability. This is done by addressing the main barriers to their inclusion and active participation in key economic processes and structures.
2. Women leadership environment
This pillar responds to the prevailing low levels of occupation of key leadership and decision-making positions by women across different sectors and levels. COVAW through this pillar aims to put the leadership agenda at the center of national dialogue and priorities. COVAW seeks to change views on women’s leadership, catalyze access to opportunities, and mentor and position women and girls as key leaders at community, national and international levels.
3. Access to Comprehensive SGBV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
COVAW also focuses on the increasing access to appropriate SGBV responses and life-saving SRHR services for women and girls. They focus on addressing challenges of VAWG, stigmatization and discrimination of users and providers of SRHR services, as well as growing cases of unsafe abortions and harmful practices such as CEFM, FGM and beading.
Online awareness information
Read Here for more information on legal procedures
Coalition of Violence Against Women (COVAW)