Upcoming East Africa Gender based violence Conference

22 Mar





Esidai Country Hotel


(On the outskirts of Nairobi City)


Contact person

Wanjala Wafula


Tel: +254-712653322 / +254-20-2099201

Email: wafula@coexistkenya.com

Skype: coexist.initiative






Gender-based violence is a pervasive problem all over the world but worse in Africa gender based violence (GBV) is a grave reality in the lives of many women and girls in East Africa. It’s an aftermath of the destructive gender norms and social and economic inequities that give privilege to men over women. There is an escalating acknowledgment in the region of gender discrimination and inequity in different facets of life.

This fundamental violation of women’s rights has devastating consequences to women and men, their families and the broader community. GBV increases women’s vulnerability to reproductive health problems, negatively affects their general well-being and decreases their ability to freely participate in their families and communities. GBV also hurts children, men and families by creating a culture of fear and mistrust that leads to a lack of intimacy and safety within familial and intimate relationships. Communities also feel the negative consequences of GBV which is a drain on the strength and development of micro and macro economic systems.

Male tacit supremacy over women has historical extractions and its functions and manifestations change over time. Amongst the historical power relations responsible for violence against women are the economic and social forces, which exploit female labour and the female body. Economically disadvantaged women are more vulnerable to sexual harassment, trafficking and sexual slavery.  In addition, denying women economic power and economic independence is a major cause of violence against women, as it prolongs their vulnerability and dependence.[2] While the family is a foundation of positive nurturing and caring values, it also doubles up as a social institution where labour is exploited, male sexual power is violently expressed and where socialization that disempowers women takes place.

On an optimistic note, GBV prevention programs are beginning to emerge throughout the region. They represent a growing body of experience and show that through prevention efforts aimed at changing the attitudes and behaviors perpetuating GBV, homes and communities can become safer places for everyone. Many of the prevention efforts within the country are relatively new and are challenged to develop solid and effective prevention programs. Currently, there is diminutive sharing of information and experiences among stakeholders.

There are drearily few opportunities to learn from others and only a handful of programmatic tools published to help guide efforts. As such, innovative ideas, effective responses and valuable experiences tend to remain in the hearts and minds of those who have been the driving force behind them, while in the next community or the neighboring vicinity, colleagues struggle with similar problems and face similar challenges. Therefore, it is important to share experiences, skills and promising practices so as to address commonly encountered challenges. It is also important to discuss responses developed in different parts of the country and compare notes on how relevant and replicable these responses could be. However, few such linkages exist that build on the strengths of each other. It’s our affirmation that a shared approach on matters relating to GBV is handy for accomplishing an extensive range of goals that reach beyond the capacity of any individual organization or person

The stakeholder’s symposium is an attempt to forge linkages between groups doing prevention work for purposes of encouraging them to share experiences, build on the successes and challenges experienced in the field and always forge a common way forward. The event brings together innovative practitioners who are implementing promising approaches to GBV prevention in their communities and stations of work. Participants will bring skills, experience, tools/resources and opportunities for developing effective collaborative programs. Attempts will be made to ensure geographic and programmatic diversity and balance.

The forum is the first of its kind in the country to bring together men and boys representatives from the civil society, leaders and Local Authorities to discuss the current state of prevention, to explore key themes and challenges, and to develop strategies for moving forward to implement stronger GBV prevention programs

Why the symposium

Masculine perceptions show traditional stereotyped mindsets, which shape the identity and behavior of men and young boys, thereby perpetuating gender inequalities rather than breaking patriarchal norms.   The socialization process plays an important role in influencing and forming behavior patterns. The major identities formed during adolescence lead to a clear demarcation in the mindset among boys and girls which is further solidified by the prevailing societal norms, perpetuating gender based violence directly or indirectly.

While the struggle to eliminate gender based violence and foster the culture of respecting the human rights principally of vulnerable groups who include and girls in Kenya remains largely disjointed, several advantages will be realized by breaking the walls of suspicion and forging a common front. Below are the bulleted advantages.

  • Working together can achieve more widespread reach within a community than any single organization could attain.
  • Synergies have greater credibility than individual organizations. This is especially true in terms of lobbying and advocacy. The broader purpose and breadth of synergies give them more credibility than individual organizations.
  • Joint approaches facilitate more information and resources sharing. In addition, working together makes available a wide range of advice and perspectives to divergent issues.
  • Forming synergies fosters cooperation between grassroots organizations, community members, and/or diverse sectors of the populace which results in the faster realization of set goals.


  • A forum to deliberate and share experiences on the dynamics of gender based violence
  • Share information, resources and capabilities.
  • Develop strategic relevant multi-stakeholder partnerships and alliances.
  • To consolidate, improve and support the activities of all relevant stakeholders in the prevention of and response to gender based violence in Kenya.
  • Identify good practices and interventions used by stakeholders in combating GBV


Main Activities

ü  Coalition building: Involves identifying common grounds among participants and forming a loose network as a start

ü  Training: The focus of the symposium shall be on the impartation of skills and information regarding positive masculinity and the role of men and boys in lessening gender based violence in the country.

ü  I.C.E Material production and distribution: Materials to be distributed to include posters, handbills, fliers, fact-sheets, audio-visual materials, T-shirts and caps.

ü  Peer interaction and plenary sessions: The sessions shall be dedicated to information exchange, discourse and experience sharing among the stakeholders.

ü  Audio-visual Media: Information provision inclined DVD/ VCDs shall be screened for the participants. Life stories and short documentaries shall take centre stage.

ü  Group discussions: Focused and objective brainstorming on issues relating to GBV and the role of men and boys shall be the kingpin of the undertaking.




  • Increase in the levels of knowledge and awareness about GBV
  • Reduction in the reinvention of the wheel among male GBV stakeholders.
  • Increased collaboration and better use of resources
  • Reduction in incidences of gender  based  and sexual violence
  • Variety of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials developed and disseminated

Registration closes on the 26th of April 2012

Registration fee is $150 excluding travel and accommodation

Contact us on +254-712653322

Email: info@coexistkenya.com / coexistkenya@gmail.com



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