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Project May 15, 2024

Inside the Campaign To Stop Domestic Violence in Kenya



On July 3, 2023, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics released Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data, which indicated that 43 percent of women and 35 percent of men believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed that a man is justified in hitting his wife in eight circumstances: when she burns food, argues with him, refuses to cook, goes out without telling him, returns home late, neglects the children, is unfaithful, or refuses to have sex with him.

The sample of respondents was drawn from a pool of men and women aged between 15 and 49. Respondents in rural areas were more likely to condone husbands beating wives than those in urban areas.

Among the rural population, 51 percent of women and 40 percent of men agreed that wife-beating is justified, compared to 30 percent of women and 26 percent of men in urban areas.

But are women really condoning domestic violence? All the eight circumstances define domestic violence as an abuse perpetrated by an intimate partner.

Since 1995 after the Beijing Conference, where governments adopted the 12-point Beijing Platform for Action, Kenya has consistently rolled out various initiatives aimed at ending violence against women. Notably, Kenya has enacted laws against domestic violence and sexual violence.

Thousands of NGOs and community-based organizations advocate for protecting women's rights in Kenya. But the finding by the statistics body is an indication that Kenya has only scratched the surface.

This project seeks to examine what has worked and not worked in the effort to stop domestic violence.


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality