The National Gender and Development Policy (2000) makes key recommendations on violence against women as steps towards punishing the crimes but also providing safer spaces for affected women. They include:
- Amending the Penal Code in order to make wife beating and other gender related crimes a criminal offences;
- Ensuring that victims of sexual offences have the right to have their cases heard in camera and creating family courts for the hearing of cases of rape, incest defilement in which the complainant is a child;
- Sensitizing legal practitioners, administrators and other law enforcement officials in the handling of cases of violence;
- Training of law enforcement agents to be able to assist women victims of crime, and in particular women victims of violence. This would entail incorporating a course on violence against women into law degree and police training courses;
- Setting up safe shelters for victims of domestic violence to support the police and other socio-cultural entities in their work.
- Disseminating information on the assistance available to women and families who are victims of violence;
- Ensuring that women with disabilities have access to information and services in the area of violence against women;
- Organizing, supporting and funding community-based education and training campaigns to raise awareness about violence against women as a violation of women’s enjoyment of their human rights, and mobilizing local communities to use appropriate gender-sensitive traditional and innovative methods of conflict resolution; and
- Taking special measures to eliminate violence against women, particularly violence against those in vulnerable situations such as young women, refugees and internally displaced women, and women with disabilities
Some of these recommendations are being implemented while others have already been implemented through other laws.
The remarks were part of a presentation made by lawyer Elizabeth Aroka during a training session in Mombasa.