Women’s Human Rights Pillar: advancing recognition and appreciation of women’s human rights in the communities against socio-cultural restrictions and negative perceptions by training of rural based women and girls on their rights through community education on legal education; human rights reproductive health and issues of bodily integrity and increasing access to justice.
Visible Impacts: We are seeing significant change in terms of response and advocacy on protection of women and girls. Enrolment and retention of girls in schools in the marginalized areas we have been working in is perhaps one of the most important milestones we have achieved. We have also seen inclusion of women in peace building and decision making forums, once a preserve for many only. Forced circumcision of girls (FGM), early/forced marriages is gradually ebbing away and communities can now openly discuss and tolerate debate on the once conservative and taboo subjects. We are also seeing many male champions emerge to defend women’s rights, including Councils of elders.
Women’s Economic Empowerment Pillar: focusing on grassroots women and women survivors of conflict and gender based violence to promote sustainable livelihood management through offering life skills and entrepreneurship; Providing seed grant to facilitate start-up activities; Linkages to financial institutions, partners and donors; Following-up and psycho-social support.
Visible Impacts: There is a significant number women groups that have emerged out of the women’s bunges who are taking advantage of devolved and affirmative funds in the Counties we operate. This is making women more economically endowed and financially independent, hence reducing cases of gender based violence and also lifting the standards of life in the communities. With this trend, the degree of poverty will gradually reduce as more and more women engage in income generating activities to create wealth.
Peace Building and Conflict Mitigation Pillar: We strengthen the role of rural women and youth groups in mitigating violence in the community, monitoring conflict through early warning indicators and mediating conflicts. Key policies that provide for these are UNSCR 1325 and 1820. RWPL has for over decades incorporated through its strategic polices to work towards increasing protection of women and girls rights within the North Rift region.
Visible Impact: We are more recognized for our role in conflict resolution and have been at the forefront of organizing peace campaigns in successive years, including global events like International Peace Day, World AIDS Day, Day of the African Child, etc. The peace dividend projects we have been involved in such as the Burnt Forest Community Market serve to bring all communities together in fostering a more cohesive, harmonious and tolerant society. The early warning and early response mechanisms have been established within communities as a result of the peace dialogues to the extent that any emerging tension or conflict is dealt with firmly without escalating as previously experienced. Communities are also more receptive to peace actors and calls for action.
Education Support and Mentorship Pillar: supporting and encouraging beneficiaries, mostly bright promising girls that are identified from vulnerable backgrounds to take up opportunities offered through formal education in schools and colleges.
Visible Impact: Over 100 girls from vulnerable backgrounds, with compounding problems ranging from forced marriages, early marriages or FGM have been supported through high schools. Of these, 15 have successfully gone through university education and lived to tell their successful stories. Most are now also role models in their communities. Through the mentorship and advocacy outreach, many girls who drop out of school owing to early pregnancies are also being persuaded to resume education, as parents also appreciate the need to sponsor them.
Leadership and Governance Pillar mentoring women leaders through capacity building trainings and exposure to be able to participate in leadership effectively and vie for electable positions and also pursue other areas of leaders.
Visible Impact: Although this pillar faces immense challenges owing to attitudes and cultural norms, there are many indications that women are increasingly claiming their stake in leadership. By engaging Councils of Elders to promote the visibility of women in leadership, the era of devolution and the new Constitution have also added to our advantages in promoting the women and leadership agenda. We are closely working with all relevant women leaders in the areas of operation. Some of the elected women have emerged from women’s bunges to become influential change agents in the communities. Through partnership with the UN Women in an empowerment project, 2 women were elected in the respective County Assembly’s of West Pokot and Nandi. Women and youth are also now accessing the affirmative action and devolution funds. We have also been able to influence the Nandi Council of Elders (Nandi Koburwo) to include 2 women on their committee. Through partnership with Uraia Trust, we have managed to civic educate communities on the role of women in leadership.