On Kenya’s independence in 1963, when the constitution was negotiated in London, only one woman delegate from Kenya was present. Women’s rights and issues were largely ignored in the document that emerged. Despite numerous constitutional amendments since then, women and minorities in Kenya face considerable challenges in asserting their rights.
Today, with UNDEF support, the African Woman and Child Feature Service works to ensure the voice of women is heard in the media and governance. It recently launched a multimedia strategy initiative to strengthen the participation of Kenyan women in the political processes. The project uses advocacy, research and technical support to give women greater visibility in the media and to equip them with the skills to take up high positions in the legislative branch of the government, public office and civil society. The project will also train a cadre of journalists in understanding gender issues, and build the capacity of women parliamentarians to advance women’s rights through the media. In addition, it monitors the use of gender language in the media through an electronic publication entitled African Woman.