STADA KENYA ATTENDS THE NYANDO AND TAMU COURT USERS COMMITTEE (CUC)TRAINING
One of present day’s most common human rights violations is sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). It is a global epidemic with far-reaching implications on countries, communities, families, perpetrators and survivors.
A multi-sectoral strategy and comprehensive effort is needed to prevent and address SGBV, ensuring that victims receive help and that offenders are brought to justice as a result of coordinated efforts across many sectors. The Court Users Committees (CUCs) have been the most successful in fostering collaborations between the many justice system stakeholders, improving coordination using a multi-sectoral approach (MSA).
As members of the Nyando Sub county Court Users Committee (CUC), STADA Kenya was invited to a three-day, 17th, 18th, and 19th, training for Tamu and Nyando CUCs organized by Equality Now, Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET) and the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ). The training brought together both state and non-state actors with the aim to foster Multi-sectorial Approach which has proven to be most effective in making issues of women’s rights a national priority.
The workshop was meant to bring together all the actors in the justice system. The sessions focused on enhancing participants’ understanding of the legal framework surrounding SGBV, exploring the barriers of access to justice for survivors of SGBV and identify strategies to address them, provide a forum for participants to share experiences, challenges, and good practices with regard to the implementation of GBV laws and strengthening the execution of roles and mandates by the actors towards ensuring accountability when addressing SGBV in Kisumu County.
By the end of the workshop, the members collectively agreed that the County needs to do more in terms of protecting the victims and perpetrators of SGBV, it was also noted with great concern that the county has only one safe house for survivors which is detrimental to the healing journey of the survivors. They also called upon the county to fast track the implementation of the commitments made in the Kisumu County policy on SGBV and called upon the Judicial Service Commission to put up SGBV and Children courts so that the journey to justice is short and bearable to the survivors.
STADA Kenya attends PUSH regional dialogue between midwives and women rights organizations.
On June 16, 2023, PUSH held a regional dialogue between midwives and women rights organizations to discuss the midwifery practice in Kenya and chart a way forward to streamline services at the grassroot level.
The dialogue brought together midwives and women rights organizations to explore the lived experiences of midwives as well as stir the Women Rights Organizations to start the conversation around the prioritization of midwife issues in their agendas in order to address the challenges surrounding the midwifery practice.
The conversation was centered around more funding for more midwives, improved education and training, better pay and working conditions, status, respect and autonomy, and improved gender norms.
Midwives have for a long time worked under destitute conditions with a heavy workload that does not translate to their pay. These issues have adversely affected their service delivery which is crucial in the realization of zero maternal and newborn mortality.
“A well supported midwife means a healthy mother, and a healthy society,” said Rosemary Owuor, “that’s how important this profession is in the realization of zero maternal deaths,” she added.
Another imminent challenge raised is the lack of training and education. Midwifery is taught as a unit under nursing and one can only specialize at the postgraduate level at only two institutions country wide, this has caused a knowledge and personnel gap.
In her remarks the Regional Coordinator for PUSH and STADA CEO, Patricia Orawo stated that the midwife’s representation has been scraped off in the Nurses and Midwives Council in the ongoing Health reforms Sector, this will immensely affect the practice since the needs of the midwives will not be articulated accurately. She also strongly condemned the assumption that all nurses are midwives, she called for the streamlining of these two professions as they are different yet very important in the health sector. Ms. Orawo implored the members to be proactively involved in policy making on matters affecting midwifery.
The members present came to the following conclusions as a way forward to improve the working conditions and service delivery in this important practice.
The day was culminated by the launch of the Gender Alliance for Midwives to which STADA is now a member. The Alliance is set to bring together women rights organizations working in Kisumu County to act as intermediaries between the midwives and women in the community and policy makers.
STADA COMMEMORATES MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT DAY
On May 27, STADA Kenya in collaboration with Boka Haven, Tunza CBO, Bishop Wasonga Foundation and Agape Counseling and Training Services commemorated Menstrual Hygiene Day at Wagai Secondary School, Siaya County. Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day celebrated on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management globally. The day aims to advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management into global, national and local policies and programs.
In developing countries where clean water and toilets are often inadequate, access to menstrual hygiene has proven to be a serious challenge. The access to materials such as sanitary towels in such countries is still limited by the cost, availability, and cultural norms. Cultural norms have a far-reaching effect even on the access to information and education for women and girls on the importance of menstrual hygiene management.
We have discovered that the infection and discomfort caused by poor hygiene during periods affect the health and dignity of women and girls hence affecting the attendance and concentration levels in school. According to a research carried out by the Kenyan Ministry of Education, girls in marginalized communities miss an average of four days of school monthly, this translates to six weeks of the Kenyan academic year, during this period, their male counterparts continue with their studies uninterrupted.
On this day STADA Kenya joined the world in pledging their allegiance to the commitment to make periods a normal phenomenon by 2030. During the event the girls and boys were taken through sensitization sessions which covered areas including; Water and Sanitation Hygiene, ending period poverty and stigma, Gender-based violence and the role of men in ending period stigma and making period sanitation materials available for women and girls. STADA also took the time to distribute reusable sanitary towels, which have a rising uptake among women and girls, as well as disposable sanitary towels.
In her remarks, Patricia Orawo, Director STADA said, “it’s a shame that we are still talking about the inaccessibility of period management materials in the 21st Century.”. She added that it is for this reason that STADA is committed to bringing to an end the plight of women and girls during periods for the sake of their dignity in the society.