Within the framework of ProtectDefenders.eu’s programmes for local grass-roots organisations, our partner Peace Brigades International is providing accompaniment and assistance to the WHRDs Toolkit Organizers in Nairobi. The Women Human Rights Defenders Toolkit Organizer’s network is a group of 15 Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) from 5 of Nairobi’s urban settlements (Kibera, Mathare, Kawangware, Langata, and Mukuru). The network was established in 2016 and goes together with a Toolkit that offers resources and recommendations to help address the specific challenges of grassroots WHRDs.
The WHRD Toolkit Organizers are dedicated and passionate community activists and established figures working for women’s and children’s rights within their communities. The network informs and engages people through community dialogues, participatory murals, local radio shows, and many other ways. They follow up on specific cases and support survivors in access to medical attention and justice. As human rights defenders, especially on SGBV issues, they receive threats from community members and authorities, although their recognition within their areas has also increased.
The WHRD Toolkit Organizers are currently implementing a campaign against sexual and gender-based violence that aims to increase the conviction rates of perpetrators of rape and defilement. In preparation for this campaign, and with support from ProtectDefenders.eu, eleven WHRDs trained on monitoring, documenting, and reporting of SGBV in April 2021.
Further, they will train on legal instruments, and launch the campaign. By the end of these activities, the toolkit organizers’ capacity to effectively implement the SGBV campaign will be increased, they will strengthen their networks with other partners, and that the skills, knowledge and new learnings gained will contribute to a change in perceptions of the communities they live with regards to SGBV and the role of WHRDs.