Institute of Development Studies Releases Recommendations for Reducing Violence Against Women in Kenya
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 4:28 PM

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), a U.K. based center for research on international development, has released “Painful Tradeoffs: Intimate-Partner Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Kenya,” a working paper that examines the types of physical and sexual violence faced by Kenyan women and the impact on their health and well-being.  Through collaboration with the Women’s Rights Awareness Program in Nairobi, IDS analyzed seven years of records from women seeking treatment for abuse and sexually-transmitted disease, looking at both the physical harm suffered and the social and psychological impact of domestic violence. 

Due to economic necessity, Kenyan women often tolerate a very high level of physical and sexual abuse from their partners, and weak social and legal support systems leave them with few outlets for medical treatment or other assistance.  Seeking outside help carries a heavy social stigma.  Kenyan law offers few protections for abused wives, and health services that are available lack sufficient funding.  The IDS study concludes with a series of recommendations for the Kenyan government, including implementation of violence prevention interventions, assistance for women seeking to leave abusive relationships, and reformation of Kenyan law on rape and abortion.

To access the full study, please click here.

Compiled from: “Preventing Gender Based Violence in Kenya,” Eldis; Joanna Crichton, Celestine Nyamu Musembi, and Anne Ngugi, “Painful Tradeoffs: Intimate-Partner Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Kenya,” IDS (October 2008). (PDF 65 pages).