The 2007 Kenyan election was marred by widespread allegations of fraud and violence. The post-election violence led to the death of more than 1,100 people and left over 600,000 displaced. According to the Commission on the Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence (CIPEV), the violence was of a large scale affecting all but two provinces. The violence also resulted in the death of more than 1,100 people and displaced of over 600,000 Kenyans.
Against this background, a peaceful election was a primary concern for Kenya in 2013. In the period running up to the elections, several initiatives were established to work towards a free, fair and peaceful electoral process by both the state and non-state actors. Given the impact of the 2007 post-election violence on women and children, the Kenya Women’s Movement sought to contribute towards ensuring peaceful election through a joint initiative with UN Women.
Given its track record and proven ability as an effective tool to curb the occurrence and spill-over of violence before, during and after elections, the women’s movement in Kenya replicated the WSR for their 2013 general elections. With technical assistance and guidance of ABIC, the process was convened and implemented by the Kenyan women’s movement comprising of women peacebuilders and activists. This implementation of the WSR was the fourth in Africa after Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
The main aim of the WSR Kenya was to ensure the continuous participation of women in the electoral process in a manner that promotes and protects national peace, security and stability. In other words, the WSR is a process to actualise the provisions of UN Security Resolutions 1325 and 1820. The WSR-Kenya was aimed at creating an early warning and early response mechanism and it registered significant success.
Major Highlights of the WSR-Kenya 2013
The WSR-Kenya team of Eminent Women Mediators held three meetings with Raila Odinga, Leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the main opposition party. The women mediators were able to get a commitment from him that if he had issues with the election results, he would seek legal redress in the Courts instead of resorting to protests and violence. And that he would accept the court’s ruling. ABIC was in Kenya when Mr. Odinga and his party went to court after the polls and witnessed his acceptance of the court’s ruling upholding the elections results.
Kenya 2013 News
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