National Action Plan: Kenya

The Kenya National Action Plan (NAP) was launched on International Women´s Day, 8 March 2016.  The NAP was created to establish a framework, strategies, and actions for coordinated implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). The NAP was entitled “Kuhusisha Wanawake ni Kudumisha Amani,”  which means “to involve women is to sustain peace”.   Kenya’s new constitution, which includes a focus on women’s participation in public affairs, was signed in August 2010 and was part of the catalyst to create the NAP.

The Kenya NAP has both an internal and external focus and encompasses all the pillars of UNSCR 1325:

  1. Participation and Promotion,
  2. Prevention,
  3. Protection,
  4. Relief and Recovery.  

The introduction of the NAP comes nine years after the deadly violence surrounding the Kenyan national election. That ethnic violence, which raged from 2007 until early 2008, claimed approximately 1,500 lives and was characterised by many instances of sexual violence, including approximately 3,000 rapes. Survivors of sexual violence suffered significant physical and psychological trauma and socioeconomic hardship, worsened by the Kenyan government’s failure to provide measures such as medical care and psychosocial support.  The conflict drew national and international attention and prompted the establishment of a Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

More recently, there have been threats to Kenya’s peace and security by Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab terrorist groups operating within Kenya’s boundaries and in neighbouring Somalia. Women’s security is greatly affected by these attacks by extremist groups. Furthermore, the proliferation of small arms is growing, with the post-2007 election violence increasing the urgency of small arms reduction efforts. Small arms are often associated with sexual violence, which remains a significant problem in Kenya; a 2010 national survey suggested that 32% of girls experienced sexual violence before adulthood. Some reports additionally indicate that rape is not taken seriously by authorities as a crime.

Kenya is a patriarchal society in which gender-based discrimination prevents women from fully participating in the private and public sphere, and a lack of financial independence can leave women vulnerable to domestic violence. 

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National Action Plan: Kenya

WILPF

WILPF International does not have a country section in Kenya and therefore was not involved in the development process of Kenya’s NAP.

Civil Society Actors

NAP Development

UN Women Kenya organized five Kenya Open Days on Partnership for Peace in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as a High-Level Conference on Women, Peace, and Security in 2012. The overall objective of these forums was to encourage collaboration and support learning between Kenyan women and men in civil society, community-based organizations, the Government of Kenya, and UN leaders.

NAP Implementation

The National Steering Committee, which includes over 20 civil society and development partners, will be responsible for implementation of certain actions in the NAP.  These include organizations such as the National Council of Women of Kenya, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Coalition on Violence against Women–Kenya, Peace and Development Network Trust (PeaceNet Kenya), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and the Embassy of Finland.

NAP Monitoring

The National Steering Committee’s responsibilities will include resource mobilisation and monitoring the implementation of the NAP.  The committee has a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the plan and will meet once every quarter. Responsible actors identified in the plan will report on progress at least once every year.

Government Actors

NAP Development

In early 2010, the then-Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Development and the National Commission for Gender and Development, with support from UN Women Kenya and the Government of Finland, commenced the development of the NAP. The Government of Finland’s support for the NAP involved a ‘twinning’ process that involved knowledge exchange missions to Finland (October 2010) and Liberia (May 2011).

The National Steering Committee and Working Group on UNSCR 1325, which collectively included government officials, religious and traditional leaders, security sector actors, academics, and international agency, private sector, media, and civil society actors, was established by the government to strengthen the coordination of a range of stakeholders in the development of the NAP. The National Steering Committee and Working Group undertook regional workshops across the country; the working group also undertook two learning missions to Finland and Liberia, and a subsequent report was developed in August 2011 to provide baseline information on the women, peace and security situation in Kenya. 

NAP Implementation

The Ministry of Public Service, Youth, and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government are providing strategic leadership and overall oversight of the implementation of the National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325. The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade additionally provided secondary support in implementation. The NAP Secretariat, managed by the Ministry of Public Service, Youth, and Gender Affairs, is responsible for carrying out the day-to-day implementation. The secretariat will serve as the liaison between with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and the National Steering Committee regarding ongoing work on women, peace, and security at the county level. The National Steering Technical Committee will provide overall guidance and shall be responsible for technical guidance and resource mobilisation towards implementation.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs will provide overall coordination of the NAP. They will liaise with all stakeholders and work with the National Steering Technical Committee. To monitor the implementation of the NAP, the plan will undergo annual, mid-term, and end-term reviews in order to ensure adherence to the accountability and reporting mechanisms.

Objectives

The NAP encompasses all the pillars of UNSCR 1325;

  1. Participation and Promotion,
  2. Prevention,
  3. Protection,
  4. Relief and Recovery.  

Each pillar includes numerous objectives. For example, under Participation and Promotion, the first objective is the creation of “Laws, policies, and practices that strengthen and promote gender equality and eliminate barriers to women’s participation, access to justice, equality, and peace”.

The NAP proposes strategies that will enable the Government of Kenya to achieve positive outcomes for women and girls against each of the thematic areas. The strategies are cross-cutting and recognize the interconnectedness of the UNSCR 1325 pillars.

Action/Activities

Each objective has many actions assigned.  For example, under Participation and Promotion, the first objective is the creation of “Laws, policies, and practices that strengthen and promote gender equality and eliminate barriers to women’s participation, access to justice, equality, and peace”.  The actions include:

  1. Development and enactment of legislation to implement gender equality and quota provisions in the Constitution of Kenya;
  2. Providing human, financial, technical, and logistical resources to facilitate women’s effective participation in leadership at county and national levels;
  3. Research on the impact of conflict on Kenya’s women and their roles, practices, and involvement in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and security mechanisms and processes; and
  4. Monitoring compliance with gender laws and policies and the implementation of constitutional provisions for gender equality.
Timeframe

The NAP will be executed over a three-year period (2016–2018). The National Steering Technical Committee will have quarterly meetings to review progress by all actors working to implement the National Action Plan. The pillar working groups will meet regularly (at least once every month) to coordinate, allocate, and report on the activities of each pillar. The Pillar Working Groups will present project reports during the National Steering Technical Committee meetings.

Budget

The NAP will be accompanied by a resource plan to ensure that the financial resources required for implementation are budgeted for by relevant ministries, departments, and agencies.  The National Steering Committee’s responsibilities will include resource mobilisation. However, there is no indication of how large the budget will be or whether it will be adequate to meet its goals.

Indicators

In regards to indicators, there will be an ongoing evaluation annually and at the mid-term.  For the first objective, the indicators annually are:

  • Reports to Parliament on compliance with the constitution on the provisions of gender equity and equality (two-thirds gender principle in all public elective and appointive positions);
  • Number and quality of laws and policies enacted that implement gender equality and quota provisions in the constitution and reduce barriers to women’s participation in leadership and governance institutions; and
  • Number and percentage of increase in human financial, technical, and logistical resources supporting the effective participation of women in the political and economic spheres at county and national levels.

The indicators at the mid-term are:

  • Number of relevant training and capacity development initiatives for women’s leadership at county and national levels;
  • Number of measures supporting women’s participation at national and county levels;
  • Reliable and usable information on the range of activities that women undertake at local, national, and regional levels towards building peace within their communities; and
  • Data on women’s inclusion in conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding processes.
Monitoring & Evaluation

The NAP includes a detailed plan for monitoring and evaluation of the actions for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Both government and civil society partner will be responsible for different elements. The National Steering Technical Committee, which includes civil society members, has a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the plan and will meet once every quarter. Responsible actors identified in the plan will report on progress at least once every year.

Disarmament

Although the Kenya National Action Plan mentions the threat of violence by terrorist organisations, the proliferation of small arms, and their gendered impact on women, they make no specific commitments to disarmament other than incorporating a gender perspective and analysis into disarmament, demobilisation, and rehabilitation initiatives.