Over the past decade, all three S.A.F.E. teams have made a considerable impact on the lives of women in Kenya. However, we recognise that without specifically addressing the issues facing women that underpin their challenges, the advances made in all other areas of development can only be partial.
S.A.F.E. has developed a targeted Women’s Programme to address the deleterious effect that HIV/AIDS, gender based violence and inequality has on the development, attainment and physical and emotional well-being of girls and women. This programme of work is focused on four ambitions:
(1) Challenging the social and cultural norms that perpetuate gender inequality and gender based violence (GBV) against women
(2) Engaging men and boys in changing the social norms that perpetuate gender inequality and GBV
(3) Connecting women to post-GBV services and helping them to take control of their own sexual and reproductive health
(4) Empowering and educating young people to create a movement of resistance against sexual violence in schools and communities
Using street theatre, films and community and school education days, we will engage women and their communities in overcoming the social factors that inhibit their equality and health. We intend to incorporate these ambitions and messages into all of our work, in order to make promoting women’s sexual and reproductive health central to all we do.
Delivery of post-GBV counselling in Mombasa and the Loita Hills: 2014 marked the end of our work on gender-based violence, a project that was launched in 2012 with funds from the JA Clark Foundation. During this project, we trained S.A.F.E. staff on post-trauma counselling and working with women who have experienced trauma, and developed facilities to create sustainable ‘safe space’ drop-in centres for women. These investments were considered important stepping stones to enable S.A.F.E. staff to deliver counselling-led sessions involving Forum Theatre, group discussions, workshops and referral to services to women who have experienced trauma.