On August 9, Kenyans went to the polls. Past elections in Kenya have been characterized by violence, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Ipas Africa Alliance, with the support of Open Society Foundation (OSF), is working to create a social movement and advocate against SGBV, particularly around elections, in five counties considered hotspots for SGBV. One of the counties is Meru. On average, 200 SGBV cases are reported monthly in Meru County, and unsafe abortion has spiked from 1,187 cases in 2016 to 3,475 in 2021.
The Alliance, with national and local partners in Meru County, organized an election caravan to increase awareness of SGBV and sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, and to call for good governance through progressive leadership. The caravan snaked through Meru County, reaching rural populations through music, speeches, and print materials. It brought together national and county government officials, as well as traditional and religious leaders—reaching more than 1,000 people directly at its various stops.
Meru Country elected seven women, including Madam Kawira Mwangaza, now the first woman governor of Meru County.
For further details on the Alliance’s work, contact Ipas Africa Alliance Director Dr Angela Akol.