Rural Women Peace Link is a grassroots, women-led organization that mobilizes, influences and promotes the participation of local women in peace building, governance and development through collaboration and networking with diverse actors. We focus on the grassroots women because they are largely marginalized in as far as decision making is concerned. We advocate for:
- Strengthening women’s grassroots networks and activities through participation in peace building and decision making to at least one third (as stipulated in the constitution) through collective action and advocacy for peace and social justice of the communities;
- Lobbying for the upholding of provisions in the constitution pertaining to women’s human rights, influenced by the stronger voice of elected and nominated women in county assemblies in order to promote effective governance and increased participation of women in decision making;
- Lobbying for resources ensuring at least 15-30% budget allocations for women specific issues at the county levels is realized through empowerment, diversification of skills and knowledge development;
- Supporting measures by national and county governments that facilitate increased access to reproductive health services for women and girls in at grassroots level.
Based on our experiences for the past few years since inception, Rural Women Peace Link has proven itself as an effective organization in promoting fundamental human rights through effective collaboration with both state and non-state actors. Aside from having the potential to achieve many more milestones, we now see more possibilities of expanding our mandate based on our successful experiences and the capacity to achieve more.
Following the promulgation of Kenya’s Constitution in the year 2010, the governance structure in Kenya has changed in order to favor a more people-driven approach to issues under the devolved system of governance. That guarantees RWPL the best opportunities to contribute to desired changes in County Government policies so that it truly incorporates and mainstreams women’s issues in the development agendas including policies to handle sexual gender based violence (SGBV) and all forms of violations against women (VAW). Our engagements with communities and diverse stakeholders particularly in Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Trans Nzoia Counties have produced positive outcomes that cannot be ignored. Due to continuous collaboration and partnership with County governments in this and other Counties, RWPL has gained a reputation and confidence among duty-bearers, policy holders and stakeholders as a consistent and reliable organization in promoting not just women’s but also human rights generally.
Operating with very minimal resources, the organization has withered very many storms and challenges in confronting violations and defending women’s rights in the region, to emerge to its current position. Following the unprecedented 2007/2008 post-election violence, RWPL spearheaded one of the most innovative and effective approach to the conflict resolution initiatives yet, in bringing communities together and bridging gaps. We covered `some of the most hostile areas of the conflicts including Uasin Gishu County (Burnt Forest, Kesses, Bindura, Turbo, Kipkaren, Kapsaret, Ya Mumbi, Kiambaa and Eldoret Town) and Bungoma County – Mt. Elgon (Cheptais, Kospiro and Kapsokwony). Through boldly convening ordinary peace dialogues and leaders’ forums in these areas, the outcomes have remained extraordinary, enabling the organization to be recognized among diverse stakeholders as an effective change agent.
Some of the desired changes we hope to continue inspiring within County government policies is establishment of safe houses and rescue centres for violated women/girls and vulnerable groups.