Rights team, clergy want women and PLWDs protected – The Star, Kenya

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights wants political parties and the poll agency to ensure the rights of women are protected during the elections period.
 KNCHR director research, advocacy and outreach Ann Okutoyi said human rights violations against women aspirants should not be entertained.
Okutoyi said during the 2017 elections the commission recorded 201 cases of sexual violence.
“We don’t want to see such cases targeted at women during the elections. We urge our security agencies to ensure every Kenyan can exercise their democratic and political rights,” Okutoyi said.
She said anyone who will commit violations against women and people living with disabilities should be dealt with firmly.
Okutoyi spoke in Eldoret during a sensitisation exercise for the civil society actors who will help monitor the polls in the Rift Valley.
The commission said it’s monitoring the elections process to ensure human rights are fully promoted and protected by all Kenyans
Okutoyi said currently, they are monitoring the period before the party primaries to ensure the preparations adhere to human rights principles and standards.
“We want to ensure the rule of law, issues around human rights and inclusion are upheld throughout the elections period,” she said.
The IEBC  has also been urged to manage the elections timelines to avoid illegal activities like human rights abuses in the ongoing political campaigns.
Representatives from civil society groups in Rift Valley led by Nick Omito regretted that women aspirants were not getting the necessary support to actively participate in the election process.
Omito said the IEBC should ensure aspirants and political parties fully adhere to the election laws.
The National Council of Churches of Kenya led by their secretary general Rev Chris Kinyanjui also called for fairness for vulnerable groups including women and people living with disabilities.
Kinyanjui who met with church leaders from the North Rift said women must come out to freely compete for their political space.
“The democratic principals in our constitution must be upheld and protected at all times. The rights of women and other vulnerable groups have to be respected,” Kinyanjui said.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)
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