Stop Widow Abuse in Kenya

In the midst of culture, traditions, and customs, related to death, widows are caught in diminishing practices and forced to undergo dehumanizing rituals, rights and ‘cleansing’ acts that remain unspoken. Their suffering is deep, and cuts across the society. Stigma is real, both from the learned society and the uncivilized alike. Widowhood is the only place where the bond of ‘mother & child’ is broken, when sons & daughters disown their mothers when they are not inherited or cleansed or both.

Rona Foundation is championing this awareness campaign in Kenya with an aim of achieving policy for widows and orphans and ultimately ‘Widowhood Laws in Kenya’.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

To create awareness on the condition of widows in Kenya and highlight the harmful traditional practices against them;
High level of ignorance among rural widows on their rights, how to access those rights and how to seek legal redress when the rights are violated;
To create awareness and agitate for laws that work to stop Widow Abuse in Kenya.
To advocate for and enable widows to prosecute their cases and follow it up in Courts due to lack of funds and/or laws that work to support them;
To stop the disinheritance of widows without children and or with only female children in advancing for their rights;
The lack of education and empowerment of girls in interior communities in Kenya which leaves them vulnerable.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

Outlawing widow cleansing under domestic offences bill in 2015.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

Majorly using social and mainstream media to advance widow rights in Kenya.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

Over 2 million widows joining the programme
30 TV interviews
8 print media
25 radio interviews

CHALLENGES FACED

Lack of funding

LESSONS LEARNT

Widows needing capacity building to raise their voices.
Cultural practices require more male champions to change.