This is an election year in Kenya. Unlike before, an unprecedented number of women candidates have expressed interest in vying for both civic and parliamentary leadership positions.
In the past two months, several female candidates have been attacked and seriously injured by supporters of their male competitors.
GEMINI has responded to this gender-based violence by facilitating leadership meetings of candidates and encouraging dialogue.
"Women fear plunging into elective politics for this reason. Men use violence to subjugate us but this healing process will help us overcome these stereotypes," says Jecinta, a civic aspirant.
The project will equip women leaders with basic skills in Public Speaking, Campaign Management, Resource Mobilization and Strategic Planning.
"I'm glad GEMINI does not support any political party's agenda and this empowerment process will greatly assist us gain leadership skills," adds Akello, another beneficiary.
GEMINI hopes that violence against women in this elective period will not erode the gains made in enlisting men as supporters of women rights.
GEMINI has been holding several workshops on gender-based violence.
A report by an independent organization has just reached us and we share some of the participants' comments with you.
Please read on!!
At first we thought that men were the stumbling blocks in the fight against domestic violence.
We were wrong!! Activities for the months of June and July indicate a lot of positive response from men. They willingly attended workshops and are now facilitating attitudinal change seminars!
Thanks for all of you who believe in our organization! Please keep supporting us
Gender-based Violence is enclosed in deeply rooted silence...with abused women being made to believe that it cannot be discussed in the open.
Well, GEMINI has started to break this veil of silence. For 2 months now, we have sensitized the commuity on violence and subsequently formed community forums to facilitate dialogue and discussion on the issue.
Like many African organizations, GEMINI has to contend with deeply-rooted cultural sentiments on domestic violence. Family violence is often believed to be a personal issue, not to be discussed in an open forum.
Yet we were able to involve the community in a very successful “Let’s Talk About it!” campaign. The major aim was to demystify violence through community mobilization, open discussions and mass media.
After a one-week awareness campaign, a Community Resource Team was formed, whose mandate includes mobilizing the support of stakeholders in ending violence. Members include law enforcers, religious leaders, community gatekeepers and families.
Activities for the month of April/May included popular education workshop (attended by over 65 people), formation of neighborhood forums and a community event that used edutainment, poetry and cultural songs to bring out messages on violence.
We are currently engaging local leaders in coming up with accepted format of including men as allies in ending violence. We hope to come up with workable alternatives to the justice system that seeks to punish perpetrators.
We hope to keep you updated…and thanks for supporting our project!
Since its formation some years back, ATM has lived life to its fullest. Well, literary!!
With your support, we have been able to meet all our objectives, reach over 15,000 people/year and stay focussed in our activities.
Last year, we started a strategic expansion plan which saw us change our name to Grassroots Empowerment Initiative (GEMINI), open new offices, expand our projects among other things.
We want to thank YOU for your continued support:hoping for another exciting journey this year. Thanks so much!!
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