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The founder of SMAK stated that her organization provides the following services to adult and adolescent single mothers: guidance and counselling; voluntary counselling and testing (VTC) services, home-based care, and support groups for HIV-positive women; continuing education services for teenage mothers; day care and kindergarten for children of single or working mothers; training in life skills such as tailoring, housekeeping, computers, entrepreneurship, etc.; referral to partners for legal services, loans, and health services (26 Jan. According to the KHRC programme officer, there are several organizations that provide legal support to women, but they may not have the resources to reach some disadvantaged women, particularly those who are uninformed about their rights and do not seek out assistance from them (23 Jan. Further information on NGOs providing services to single women in Kenya could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints.
In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a programme officer at the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), an NGO founded in 1991 that campaigns for "the entrenchment of a human rights and democratic culture in Kenya" (KHRC n.d.), stated that women who own property in Nairobi are generally middle class women who have inherited it from their parents or spouse, although there are some women who have purchased their own property (ibid. According to Oxfam, there are "high numbers" of single women and female-headed households in the informal settlements of Nairobi (Oct. A 2011 article by the Star [Kenya] also reports an "influx" of women into urban slums due to the number of women escaping wife inheritance in rural areas (4 Apr. According to Amnesty International (AI), most women in Kenyan slums do not own their homes (July 2010, 16). Employment According to the project director of SMAK, it is "very possible for single women to be employed in any position in the city," depending on their level of education (26 Jan. The programme officer at KHRC indicated that educated women are able to find work in the formal sector, although unemployment is very high in Nairobi (23 Jan. The SMAK project director indicated that women who have low levels of education can find work in factories or perform domestic labour or other jobs that do not require academic qualifications (26 Jan. The KHRC programme officer similarly stated that women arriving in the city from rural areas generally work in the informal sector, for example, doing casual work in the construction, processing, or packing industries, or domestic work such as child care, cleaning, or cooking (KHRC 23 Jan. The programme officer added, however, that the menial jobs available to such women are available on an "erratic" basis and sometimes require going door-to-door every day to find work for the day (ibid.).
2014), explained that the main reason for the high percentage of single women living alone in Nairobi is the large number of women who have escaped gender-based violence in their domestic partnerships (ibid 27 Jan. Women may also live alone in Nairobi because they have lost access to their matrimonial property after a divorce (ibid.; AI July 2010, 16; The Star 4 Apr. Additionally, sources indicate that widowed women escaping wife inheritance [also known as widow inheritance (SMAK 26 Jan. 2014), the practice by which a man "inherits the widow of his brother or other close relative, regardless of her wishes" (US 19 Apr.
2013)] frequently relocate to urban areas (ibid.; FIDA-K Dec. For further information about women's property rights and the practice of wife inheritance in Kenya, please consult KEN104758. Access to Credit and Economic Resources The Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya (FIDA-K) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the legislative and policy framework for women's rights (FIDA-K and COHRE , 3).
AI notes that women performing domestic work are at risk of being sexually or physically abused by their employers (July 2010, 15).
Similarly, the KHRC programme officer stated that there is a lot of gender-based discrimination, sexual violence, and ethnic discrimination in the informal job sector in particular, and that women who are new to the city can be "taken advantage of" (23 Jan. Citing information obtained from community health workers in the slums of Mukuru and Korogocho in Nairobi, Oxfam reports that many women in those areas are often the sole provider for the family, and that they live hand to mouth, putting together the money and food needed for the family from a range of sources, including money given by churches, cooking and selling food, trading in petty items, begging or scavenging, carrying loads at construction sites or engaging in sex work. 2012, 6) The Star suggests in the 2011 article that widows who relocate to the city to escape a forced remarriage may engage in sex work to make a living (4 Apr. Additionally, in focus group discussions with 14 male and female residents of Nairobi, FIDA-K heard accounts of mothers forcing their daughters to engage in "transactional sex" with neighbours to contribute to the family's income (Dec. The programme officer at the KHRC also indicated that the number of women engaging in commercial sex work has been rising (23 Jan. According to the Small Arms Survey, an independent research project at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva that focuses on armed violence (n.d.), wages in Nairobi are "extremely low" and wages in the informal sector "have been static for years" (Dec. Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. Access to Justice and the Law Various sources indicate that women in Nairobi are vulnerable to gender-based violence (CREAW 27 Jan. 2012, 18; AI July 2010, 14-16), including in informal settlements (ibid.; Small Arms Survey Dec. The Small Arms Survey, in its 2012 report on 90 interviews with residents of the Kangemi and Kawangware informal settlements of Nairobi, reports that women face violence that ranges from physical beatings to "extreme 'domestic' violence using crude weapons, rape, and gang rape, sadistic methods of sexual and non-sexual torture, and violent deaths and mutilation" (ibid.).
Kenya : information sur le traitement réservé aux femmes célibataires ou divorcées qui vivent seules, y compris l'accès au logement et à l'emploi à Nairobi; accessibilité des services sociaux offerts par le gouvernement et la société civile (2013-janvier 2014) Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kenya: Treatment of single or divorced women who are living alone, including access to housing and employment in Nairobi; availability of social services offered by government and civil society (2013-January 2014), 29 January 2014, KEN104757.