PBI-Kenya convenes Women Human Rights Defenders Toolkit monthly meeting in Nairobi

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On January 21, the Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project posted, “Last week the WHRD Toolkit Organizers held a monthly mandazi meeting at Soweto resource center in Langata settlement.”

A mandazi is a fried snack, similar to a donut, only triangular and far less sweet. Mandazis are always had with tea and it’s a time to gather in solidarity and share stories, initiatives, problems and successes. Kibera, Kenya’s largest informal settlement, borders Langata.

PBI-Kenya adds, “The team reviewed the event that took place during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign in 2019 and filled out surveys as part of ongoing research. This information will feed into the upcoming campaign planned for 2020.”

You can read more about the Toolkit for WHRDs in Nairobi’s Urban Settlements by clicking here.

That web-link explains, “This Toolkit was developed by Peace Brigades International (PBI) Kenya primarily for WHRDs in Kenya and specifically for those in the urban settlements of Nairobi. It is a tool intended to enhance the understanding that, regardless of whether HRDs define themselves as an activist or advocate, if their actions strive towards the realisation of human rights, they are entitled to protection. While the term ‘Women Human Rights Defenders’ refers not only to women but also to other activists who defend the rights of women, this Toolkit focuses particularly on the roles, risks, and vulnerabilities of defenders who are women.”

The PBI Annual Review notes that in 2018, “Four international volunteers accompanied members of two grassroots organisations and twenty-nine human rights defenders working in the Nairobi’s urban settlements and the Mount Kenya region.”

PBI has provided the context: “People in Nairobi’s informal settlements face serious inequities in basic services ranging from water and sanitation to the state’s justice system, which threatens their very right to life.”

“Extrajudicial executions are frequently carried out in these areas by murderous police officers, whose collaboration with the regular police units and with the operational and support structures remains a mystery.”

“Such experiences do not occur in Nairobi’s affluent neighborhoods, highlighting the scorn and widespread criminalization of the urban poor.”

PBI established the Kenya Project in December 2012.

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