Girls stand up against rape in Kenya – and you can help them stay safe

Girls' education

Photo used by 160 Girls Project
“I demand my rights!”– Chanted Kaia* and ten other girls outside a courthouse in Kenya as they defied the police’s inefficient response to incidents of rape.

In Kenya, a woman is raped every 30 minutes. 25 percent of girls are also engaged in child labour and 12 percent of teenage girls are married. The police, however, routinely fail to protect these victims by turning a blind eye to serious offences such as rape – as they did with Kaia, who was assaulted and molested on her way to school at just eleven years old.

The police’s lack of action projects the notion that the victimization of girls is OK – jeopardizing their safety and taking away their basic right to attend school free of fear and discrimination.

The danger of being attacked or raped on the way to school, as Kaia was, is not unique to Kenya. It is prevalent in many other countries and can account for a significant share of the staggering 31 million primary school and 34 million secondary school age girls currently missing out on an education.

Kaia, however, vowed to stand up and say that the safety of no girl or woman should be threatened by rape. In an unprecedented move, she sued the police for not helping her – and won!.

The support Kaia received from an amazing group of human rights advocates and lawyers was an instrumental asset of her successful appeal. These same lawyers and activists are ready to defend victims like Kaia throughout Africa and the world, but need funding to continue this ground breaking work and ensure that we no longer ignore the victims of such violent crimes.

Avaaz has launched a pledge to enlist the support of just 30,000 people and provide the resources needed to take Kaia’s victory global. 

Ensuring the safety of girls en route to, and within schools, is essential if we are to offer every child the opportunity to attend school and learn. With a small donation we can move one step closer to securing the safety of millions of girls such as Kaia and allow them to obtain the education they deserve.

Lend your support by

Signing the Avaaz pledge Here

* Kaia is a pseudonym, but her story is real. She is not pictured here.

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