Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.
Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death.
Some members of The Lawyers Circle collaborated with Kenyan lawyers to develop a test case to establish a broad ambit for positive obligations to protect women from gender-based violence.
Helen Mountfield QC, Anna Bugden, Monica Arino, Elsa Groumelle and Cathryn Hopkins from The Lawyers Circle worked with Equality Now and Kenyan lawyers to undertake a legal survey concerning gender-based violence. The research evaluated the relevant instruments and the most significant case law from the United Nations, the Inter-American Court, Africa and the Council of Europe in order to identify, summarise and provide links to potentially useful materials for the Kenyan lawyers to use.