Kenya - Girls don’t run the world yet; there is still ground to cover
Saturday October 12 2019
By FAITH ONEYA
Atieno is a pitiful eight-year-old girl in Marjorie Oludhe-Macgoye’s poignant poem "A Freedom Song", which is often referred to as Atieno.
She works her fingers to the bone in her aunt's house while her cousins enjoy basic rights and freedoms that she’s denied. Years later, she falls pregnant and bleeds to her death and "meat and sugar are lavished at her funeral".
Cultural abortion: The unspoken cruelty destroying girls' lives
She was warned that she couldn’t get pregnant before she is wed as it was a shame to her family and her taboo.
by Michelle Dibo
06 October 2019
Eddah looks much older than her actual age of 17. She is admitted at the Maralal Referral Hospital for the 17th time.
It is funny that her age and the number of times she has been admitted at the hospital due to miscarriages is the same. She does not seem to recognise this irony when I speak with her.
“I just want to have a child,” she tells me. Her voice so sad you can hear the melancholic backdrop if you listen close enough.
International Safe Abortion Day: Why Kenya needs clarity on safe abortion guidelines
By Purity Nthiana
September 28th, 2019
This weekend, the world will be marking the International Safe Abortion Day, on 28th September. This comes in the wake of the recent High Court ruling to reinstate the 2012 Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Kenya.
While many reproductive health advocates have lauded the court’s decision as a win for women, many Kenyans are still in the dark regarding what the document actually says.
Shield women from avoidable deaths
24th Sep 2019
Nine years ago, the country was embroiled in an intense debate over whether to ratify the then draft constitution or not. The opposition to its passage was led by religious groups against the provision that would allow pregnant women to access abortion when a trained health professional deemed their life or health to be in danger.
The groups argued that Kenyan women would now access abortion anytime, anywhere and the procedure could be performed by any hospital worker. The Kenyan people, however, on August 4, 2010, passed the Constitution with a resounding 67 per cent in favour of the ratification.
Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central
August 22, 2019
By Melvine P. Ouyo
In 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health made the devastating decision to withdraw the Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion. This caused a huge influx in untrained back street abortions, immense suffering, and the loss of countless lives. After six years of irreversible damage from this decision, Kenya’s High Court issued a clear ruling this summer: the government had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by withdrawing the Standards and Guidelines. It was a revolutionary moment for Kenyan communities.
The worldwide movement to give women freedom to choices first culminated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brought diverse views of human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development. It marked a global consensus that placed human dignity and human rights—including the right to plan a family—at the heart of development.
Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights
Ruling allowing abortion will reduce maternal deaths, give women right to health
by Evelyn Odhiambo
07 August 2019
Approximately seven women and girls die daily as a result of unsafe abortion whereas Sh533 million is used in treating complications related to unsafe abortion. Many of these women are left infertile or with lifelong disabilities and haemorrhage.
Girls and women in informal settlements are mostly affected, coupled with abortion-related stigma. Restrictive laws on termination of pregnancy result in women seeking services from unqualified medical personnel where the minimum cost is Sh1,500 not forgetting the limited chances of survival and complications.
‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera
With terminations outlawed in Kenya, women and girls in its largest slum have to rely on expensive and unreliable under-the-counter pills, toxic chemicals or other homemade remedies. The consequences can be fatal
Tracy McVeigh in Kibera
Mon 5 Aug 2019
Edita Ochieng sashays up in her “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt – bright and new in a place where clothes are aged and faded.
“Got them,” she stage-whispers, a flash of silver foil in her hand. Four pills carefully cut from a longer strip. Ochieng has just been attempting to buy abortion pills from among the numerous kiosk-sized “quack” chemists in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. Just to show how easy it is.
Abortion where mother's health is at risk is a right
Lack of access to safe legal abortion causes many women to resort to illegal, unsafe abortion.
by Betty Odallo, Lucy Minayo and Martin Onyango
20 July 2019
JMM was a 14-year-old schoolgirl, living in rural Kisii when sometime in 2014, she was forced to have sexual intercourse. Due to a lack of information on how to respond to the situation, or whom to approach, she was not able to receive immediate post-rape care, including emergency contraception.
Two months later, JMM discovered she was pregnant. Fearing blame and rejection from her family, she confided in a friend who took her to an untrained person who performed an unsafe abortion on her.
Abortion stigma denies survivors speedy treatment
Medical staff fear in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested
by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
17 July 2019
Cultures that do not allow pregnancy before marriage and fear by health workers to attend to survivors of unsafe abortion cause a delay in providing post-abortion care hence increasing abortion-related deaths.
At the facilities, medical personnel will not attend to women who had attempted procuring abortion as they fear that in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested.
Health ministry must obey court on abortion guidelines
Tuesday July 16 2019
By JOACHIM OSUR
The High Court recently nullified the Ministry of Health’s withdrawal of service delivery standards and guidelines and a training curriculum on abortion that had been in force for close to six years.
When the current Constitution was being written, abortion was a major contentious issue. Some campaigners against the draft used abortion to get votes at the referendum. Many of abortion-based arguments were confusing, with opponents out to convince all and sundry that the new Constitution would open floodgates for abortion.