“It was the best day of school!” 11 year old Beatrice, Ntani School, Meru, Kenya, describing the 160 Girls PLE “Girls for Justice” Workshop.

160 Girls PLE Background:
Last week the 160 Girls Public Legal Education (PLE) was launched in Kenya. After months of research, consultation and testing, the PLE is now in action, bringing the landmark 160 Girls High Court decision to communities across 4 pilot districts.  Education about the rights of victims and obligations of police associated with the 160 Girls decision is critical to enable the public to use the law to hold perpetrators accountable for their sexual violence, and end the climate of impunity for child rape.  The 160 Girls PLE initiative will complete the change triangle, connecting the law, police and communities to achieve behaviour change.

The 160 Girls Launch:
We went from the pomp and circumstance of a well-attended VIP launch gala in Nairobi (the speakers included the Police Inspector General’s representative the Director of Legal Services, the Canadian High Commissioner, the Chief Commissioner of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, and the equality effect CEO), to remote, rural Meru where we connected with school children using art and music, bringing the 160 Girls victory full circle back to the beneficiaries – the girls (and boys) vulnerable to rape.  Seeing the children singing the new 160 Girls anthem, at the top of their lungs, dancing on their wooden desks in their school uniforms, seeming to embody empowerment, definitely looked like success!  For photos from the PLE launch event, click here; for photos from the first 160 Girls school training, click here.

160 Girls PLE Sample Activities:
The 160 Girls PLE embraces mobile technology through the innovative 160 Girls app, which includes everything you need to ensure access to justice for defilement victims.  One user last week described the app as having “justice in your hand.”  Please download the 160 Girls app here.

PLE is on social media, too! And we hope you’ll participate in the #160girlsandme campaign to show your support for girls’ legal rights and to spread the word about the 160 Girls campaign to end defilement in Kenya. It’s easy: take a photo with a sign that reads “160 Girls and Me” – feel free to get creative! - and post it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #160girlsandme. Then challenge a friend to stand with 160 Girls! Check out our call-to-action video starring popular Kenyan actress, Joy Ohon, and please share on social media.

160 Girls adult PLE workshops train influential community leaders such as Chiefs, religious leaders, school principals, District Children’s Officers, etc. in the rights and obligations associated with the 160 Girls decision. The training sessions are led by police and children’s advocates/social workers together. This unique partnership demonstrates commitment to community collaboration to ensure the protection of girls. The participants commit to sharing the information acquired with their constituencies.  They conclude the training by volunteering to sign a 160 Girls Declaration, outlining the specifics of their commitment to ensure that the climate of impunity for child rape is eliminated.  For photos click here.

And we have videos for you to enjoy and share. Award-winning filmmaker Andrea Dorfman has created two new 160 Girls PLE videos that you can check out on our new 160 Girls website. Kenyan recording artist Rosy Ohon has recorded the 160 Girls Anthem and a music video that you can see here. This is the song that electrified the school children in Meru, and promises to continue to do so!  And there’s lots more happening on the ground, led by our fantastic PLE Kenya team!

160 Girls PLE Plan:

The 160 Girls PLE will continue to roll out throughout 2016. Next week, the workshops start in Kakamega, Kenya.  The current activities will be complimented by new community engagements, for example evening viewings of the 160 Girls videos in local markets, #160girlsandme street photo booths, etc. 

Agnes Mburu, a girls’ rights advocate from Meru, Kenya, described the 160 Girls Community Leaders’ Workshop, and signing onto the 160 Girls Declaration in partnership with the police, with a big smile on her face, as “a blessing and a gift”.  We look forward to keeping you updated on more memorable moments associated with the progress of the 160 Girls PLE as the community outreach continues.

Thank you for your support in making the ground breaking 160 Girls work happen – we couldn’t do it without you.

To donate to the equality effect, please click here.

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