FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Kaitlyn Soligan, MADRE (212) 627-0444, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADRE and Partners Pledge to Keep Girls Safe in Kenya
March 4, 2013–New York, NY–MADRE and their partners at the Indigenous Information Network in Kenya have pledged to keep open five shelters to accommodate young girls during the elections on March 4 and beyond, if necessary.
In addition to refuge from violence, the Nanyori Shelter Network also provides schooling for young girls, allowing them to receive an education instead being forced into early marriage. When violence broke out with the elections in 2007, it became impossible for the girls who study at Nanyori to return home.
"Our first priority is keeping our girls safe. That's why we do this work; it does not stop for a weekend or a holiday if any of our students is at risk, " Lucy Mulenkei of IIN said in a statement. "In some areas, violence has already broken out. We are preparing for the possibility of a protracted lockdown to protect the girls."
Speaking out about the violence taking place in the weeks leading up to these elections, MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind warned against making assumptions without a full understanding of Kenya's history. "There is a tendency to dismiss what is happening as tribal or ethnic conflict. It is not that simple. To see the full picture, we must recognize problems of class and lack of access to resources and political power. Inequality, not identity, is the fuel to this fire."
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Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director, works with women's human rights activists from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, creating programs to address violence against women, economic development, climate change, armed conflict and more.
MADRE works in partnership with grassroots women's groups to secure rights, resources and results for women worldwide. To learn more, please visit us at madre.org.