Attaining equality between women and men and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights. Numerous international and regional instruments have drawn attention to this gender-related dimensions, the most important being the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It is important to note that In 1993, UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna confirmed that women’s rights are human rights. This was a step forward in recognizing the rightful claims of a half or more of our population, in identifying neglect of women’s rights as a human rights violation and in drawing attention to the relationship between gender and human rights violations
In 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing generated global commitments to advance a wider range of women’s rights. It considered a significant achievement in explicitly articulating women’s rights as human rights. The Platform for Action includes a series of strategic objectives to eliminate discrimination against women and achieve equality between women and men. It involves political and legal strategies on a global scale based on a human rights framework. The Platform for Action is the most comprehensive expression of States’ commitments to the human rights of women.
Reviews have revealed that although significant progress has been made in some areas of women’s human rights, “discriminatory legislation as well as harmful traditional and customary practices and negative stereotyping of women and men still persist” particularly in family, and soci-ety and through administrative rules and regulations.
In Kenya, despite the enactment of the constitution that anchors the principle of no more than two thirds of members elected or appointed shall not be of the same gender, as well as other legal safeguards that protects women rights, Kenyan women still struggle with full and total attainment and realization of their rights as illustrated herein. However, with every struggle, women are empowered, and soon or later the duty bearers and society at large are bound to positively respond.
AAK is part and parcel of the struggle to attain equality by ensuring the responsibility of the state to respect, protect and fulfil the rights. They have continued to partner with women, communities and people living with poverty, championing their perspective and taking sides with them. AAK asserts the undeniable fact that women rights are human rights. By doing this, Women and girls are able to rise and challenge breach of their rights as well as challenge all forms of abuse. Women and girls are thus arising and advocating for their rights and the rights of other women and their communities.
As we note the challenges, we also note the milestones the women of Kenya have achieved. Celebrate with us.
Head of Policy and Campaign.