On June 20th, the One Campaign posted a blog about USAID’s Kenya Justice Project. The TrustLaw blog of Thompson Reuters also picked up the story.
This innovative project works with local traditional authorities to increase understanding of the contributions women make to their community. This awareness effort is combined with discussions of the gender equality provisions of the Kenyan Constitution. Under the new (2010) Constitution elders and local leaders have increased responsibility for protecting and enforcing constitutional rights, including women’s rights to use and control property – something that customary legal systems do not always do. As a result of these conversations and, no doubt, other factors, elders in Ol Posimoru Kenya have drafted a new local constitution (a “katiba’) that agrees to protect women’s property rights. This is a small step forward but may set the stage for further improvements for women in Kenya.