A Brief Overview of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter (IAWJ – KC)’s Activities since October 2019
National Gender-Based Violence Conference
The IAWJ – Kenya Chapter was represented by the Hon. Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa, Vice-President of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter and of the Secretariat at the National Gender-Based Violence Conference themed “The Missing Agenda- Accountability Towards Prevention and Response to GBV” on October 16 – 17, 2019. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender in collaboration with the Government of Kenya, United Nations Joint Programme on the Prevention and Response to GBV and key stakeholders including County Governments.
Round Table Meeting with Dr. Jarpa Dauwani at Milimani Law Court, in Nairobi, Kenya
On October 25, 2019, members of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter led by Hon. Lady Justice Agnes Murgor, JA held a round table meeting with Dr. Jarpa Dauwani, an Associate Professor from Howard University. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss her research on women judges as well as to share her personal and professional perspectives of women judges and judicial officers. The forum created an opportunity for women judges to share their experiences with Dr. Dauwani.
Technical Workshop for the Review of the Draft Judiciary Sexual Harassment Policy and Draft Judiciary Gender Policy
On November 7 – 10, 2019, the Honorable Executive Committee Members and the Region Liaison Persons participated in a technical workshop supported by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to review the draft Judiciary Sexual Harassment Policy and the draft Judiciary Gender Policy. The two policies are scheduled to be launched and adopted by the Judiciary in the course of this year. During the workshop, the Honorable Executive Committee Members and the Region Liaison Persons held their first meeting since the Association’s held its general meeting in September 2019. They also had a team building session during the workshop.
Launch of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter Website
On November 15, 2019, the Association launched its new website as part of rebranding.
Launch of The Predators
On November 25, 2019, the Honorable members of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter attended the launch of The Predators, book written by Hon. Lady Justice Ruth Sitati, a member of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter. The Predators is a collection of real-life accounts from various cases she has interacted with in the course of her duty as a judicial officer for over 40 years. Most of the stories are narratives of criminal court proceedings. The Predators is a revised version of The Stalkers book which was launched during the 2017 IAWJ Biennial Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The book aims to alert readers on the gender-based violence dangers lurking in our houses, churches, schools, offices, outdoors, and other places. Some may identify with these stories as victims or as culprits, while for others, it may be a forewarning.
It raises public awareness on the tragedy of sexual abuse in our society, placing a highlight on the importance of preventing such incidents from occurring and helping victims heal from their trauma. Heightened consciousness of evil acts helps influence efforts put into protecting the vulnerable.
Commemoration of 16 Days of Activism
On December 2-6, 2019, UN Women in partnership with the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter commemorated 16 Days of Activism under the theme “Orange The World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape” by organizing open days in Nairobi (Milimani Law Courts), Malindi (Malindi Law Courts), Mumias (Mumias Law Courts) and Kisii (Kisii Law Courts) to sensitize the general public on gender-based violence and the laws in Kenya that address GBV. On December 6, 2019, the Association held Moot Court Sessions in Nairobi (Milimani Law Courts) and Mumias (Bomani Grounds). The Moot Court Sessions were aimed at providing insights and opportunities for communities and survivors to experience first-hand what a court session entails. Further, to sensitize the public about the laws and procedures in addressing gender-based violence cases. This will help in developing an action-oriented fast-tracking mechanism for access to justice for survivors of sexual violence and help identification of the gaps and challenges in the prosecution of gender-based violence cases in Kenya. The event was well attended by law students from various universities in Nairobi, members of the public, prosecutors, and other justice actors.
Summit of Africa Women Judges and Prosecutors on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime
The Hon. Lady Justice Agnes Murgor, JA – President of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter led a delegation of 11 Kenya delegates in participating in the Summit of Africa Women Judges and Prosecutor on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime on December 12-13, 2019, at Casina Pio IV Vatican City, Rome.
During the Summit, the Hon. Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu, JA, the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter President Emeritus was elected as a member of the Pan-African Judges Committee. The Committee will facilitate coordinated legal efforts and the sharing of best practices across borders.
High-Level Meeting of the Global Judicial Integrity Network “Past, Present, Future”
The Hon. Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu, JA attended the High- Level Meeting of the Global Judicial Integrity Network “Past, Present, Future” under the invitation of the Hon. Judge Vanessa Ruiz, President of the IAWJ in Doha, Qatar on February 24-27, 2020.
The Hon. Lady Justice Okwengu, JA was part of a panel discussion on Mainstreaming Anti-Corruption at the Top: Transparency and Accountability of the Highest Bodies of the Judiciary.
Visit to Langata Women’s Maximum Prison, in Nairobi
On March 7, 2020, the Honorable members of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter, led by the President the Hon. Lady Justice Agnes Murgor, JA, visited Langata Women’s Maximum Prison Nairobi to celebrate International Women’s Day. The Honorable members had an interactive session with the inmates to sensitize them on their legal rights and responsibilities. The inmates shared a Memorandum of Understanding articulating issues affecting female inmates and requested the Association to assist in addressing the issues through the Judiciary. The Honorable members also donated gifts and foodstuff to the inmates.
Courtesy Visit to the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly
In March 2020, part of the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter Executive Committee led by the President the Hon. Lady Justice Agnes Murgor, JA accompanied by the Secretary the Hon. Christine Njagi and the Vice Secretary the Hon. Hellen Onkwani made a courtesy call to the Speaker of Nairobi County Assembly the Hon. Beatrice Elachi in preparation for a moot court activity.
Moot Court Activity on Gender-Based Violence
On March 13, 2020, the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter in partnership with Women Empowerment Link organized a Moot Court Activity at Charter Hall Nairobi County Assembly which was attended by 500 Participants from various slums in Nairobi, Non-governmental Organizations and stakeholders from the Justice System.
This blog post was prepared by the IAWJ – Kenya Chapter. The views presented in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the IAWJ.