Improving access to natural resources for indigenous communitiesMinority Rights Group Africa (MRGA)
Key Support Priorities
Voice calls for a fresh approach that is citizen-centred towards addressing disparities and inequalities in Kenya.
A summary of the contextual analysis revealed thought-provoking insights on the following five marginalised and discriminated groups -which are the overall global target groups for Voice.
Most Persons with Disabilities (PWD) live in rural areas that are characterised by high poverty. This is as a result of a lack of mobility in accessing education in urban areas that have more economic opportunities. Despite having provisions in the Constitution, government ministries and entities are unwilling to provide this opportunity to PWD, Youth and women as required. Exploitation, abuse and violence against women in Kenya continues to be a challenge, we have incidences of human trafficking for the purposes of forced labour and prostitution; exploitive working environment in vulnerable industries such as gold mining in Nyanza and Western Provinces, and in large agricultural farms. Children, youth and the elderly are discriminated and often face diverse vulnerabilities that predisposes them to inequalities. They lack a voice to advocate for oneself due to personal status and environment as well as systemic and structural issues. LGBTI persons have been rejected by their families and continue to be criminalised by the society.
The context analysis showed specific needs for interventions in Kenya. For all the target groups Voice Kenya has therefore defined Focus Areas. Further Voice Kenya has specified the types of interventions possible within the Influencing Grants. To have a look at the full overview, please go here.
On December 9, eve of International Human Rights Day, Hivos launched Voice nationally. While Voice in Kenya is coordinated by Hivos, at a global level Voice is executed in consortium with Oxfam Novib and funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kenya remains a highly unequal society by income, by gender, and by geographical location. Poverty is highest in the arid and semi-arid areas that cover about 80% of the country and are inhabited by about 20% of the population. The proportion of the population living below absolute poverty hail from Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Tana River, Samburu, Kwale, West Pokot, Isiolo and Makueni Counties. Wide disparities also exist between urban and rural areas, with 85 per cent of all poor people living in rural areas while the majority of the urban poor live in slums and peri-urban settlements. Urban households are more likely to have access to health care, schools and piped water than those in rural areas.
Rapid population growth is another major challenge, further complicated by high unemployment rates especially among the youth. Within the same context, gender disparities in employment opportunities and economic investment patterns in Kenya have continued to widen across all sectors of the economy and at various levels of development. Part of the reason for the persistent inequity is the slow pace of mainstreaming gender into job creation and poverty eradication policies, programmes and strategies in a coordinated, multi-sectoral and integral way. The other reason relates to the existence of social, cultural and structural barriers to effective female participation in the labour force, as well as in the political spheres.
Although the Constitution of Kenya (2010) has provided quite progressive mandates to ensure the marginalised groups (women, youth and PWDs) and ethnic minorities are empowered, it did not entrench mechanisms for achieving this, and left the implementation to groups and institutions without incentives to implement the provisions.