Integrated Gender and HIV
It’s no secret that HIV continues to create serious health issues in many parts of Kenya. A less talked-about problem is the gender-based violence (often sexual violence) that is rampant in many communities. Because of the unequal social and economic roles society gives to women and girls, they are more vulnerable to this kind of violence. When many people in a community are HIV positive, the threat of sexual violence brings an added level of risk and danger. Girl Child Network works with Trocaire to address the root causes of gender-based violence in two informal settlements in Nairobi: Kangemi and Mukuru. In these settlements, insecurity, poor access to services, low levels of literacy, and insufficient infrastructure affect everyone, but affect girls and women even more. We’re working with everyone from community and religious leaders to primary school students to create spaces that are safer for everyone. This was the first year we worked in these communities, and we look forward to continuing these relationships in the coming years!