- Violence Against Women and Girls During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenya1.56 MB
In March 2020, the Kenyan government adopted measures including lockdowns, restriction on movement, and closure of schools and some businesses to prevent the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. These restrictions continue to varying degrees to date.
Globally, the pandemic has devastated families and communities, disrupted employment and livelihoods, increased economic hardship, and impacted women and girls in specific ways. Women, especially those who lost their jobs and earnings due to the pandemic and were made completely dependent on their husbands or partners, and girls who were stuck at home with no school, faced elevated levels of sexual and physical domestic violence while the restrictions on mobility limited their access to protection and treatment services, and justice for survivors. Kenya was no exception to this global trend. And even with a previous history of heightened incidences of violence against women and girls during crisis Kenyan authorities failed to institute preventative measures and effectively protect women and girls, even as they instituted a lockdown and nightly curfew.
Kenya has experienced increases in violence against women and girls, and men and boys to a lesser degree, during previous emergencies such as around elections and other periods of political upheaval, civil unrest, and other humanitarian situations. Human Rights Watch has documented widespread sexual violence against women and girls, as well as incidents of sexual violence against men and boys, following Kenya’s 2007–2008 and the 2017 general elections, and the government’s failure to prevent or protect against such abuse or to provide survivors with redress.
Report by the Human Rights Watch