Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global health and human rights issue. During emergencies such as pandemics, conflicts, and natural disasters, the risk of GBV is higher amongst women, girls, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and minority groups. Kenya has been affected for decades by various crises within and outside its borders. Kenya hosts over 500,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in refugee camps and urban areas. Kenya’s internal crises have led to the displacement of tens of thousands of persons over the years as a result of forced evictions, resource-based conflicts, political and ethnic violence, development-related displacement, a climate-related crises such as drought, locust invasions, floods, and pandemics. During displacement, access to basic social services is limited for vulnerable populations, exacerbating the risk of GBV against women and children – especially adolescent girls – and persons with disabilities. Despite the well-known risks of GBV in crises, GBV prevention, response, and risk mitigation are often inadequate.
The Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (Call to Action) was launched in 2013 to address this gap, with its 2021-2025 Call to Action Road Map committing to strengthen partnerships with local organizations, promote gender equality in humanitarian action, and support the leadership and empowerment of women and girls. The Generation Equality Platform also outlines GBV as a key priority.