The effectiveness of police gender desks in addressing gender based violence: a case of Nyandarua County - Kenya
Ndungu, Wanjohi Albert
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Police gender desks were established in the police stations of Kenya to address the gender based violence (GBV). This study assessed if the police gender desks were effective in addressing GBV. To achieve this, the study established if the gender desk environment was GBV survivor‟s friendly, it also examined the services offered at the police gender desk, explored the challenges encountered by the gender desk and identified the best strategies of addressing these challenges. The study used descriptive survey research design. It was conducted at Ndaragwa and Ol Joro orok sub-counties in Nyandarua County. The study was guided GBV ecological framework. The target populations were the survivors of GBV. The key informants in the study were the actors in the GBV justice system such as the government officers (the Police officers, probation officers, children‟s officers and the doctors) and the NGOs that advocated for gender equality. The GBV survivors/relatives were sampled using snowball sampling. This was because most survivors of GBV knew other GBV survivors and they helped the researcher to identify them. The survivors were also sampled using purposive sampling where the researcher would be able to get their contacts at the police station or/and the medical facilities. Simple random sampling was used to sample the Children‟s officers, probation officers and the NGOs. The gender desk officers (GDOs) were purposively sampled from the police stations in the two sub-counties. The data was collected using the interview schedule, questionnaires and the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guide. The data analysis was done by classifying the data in the thematic areas of study. Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS. The study found that though gender desks were expected to prevent and respond to GBV, they were not effective. The gender desk environment was not conducive for the GBV survivors. The study highlighted the challenges facing the gender desk and best strategies for addressing these challenges were identified. The study recommended an increase in the budget allocation by the government and deployment of more police officers and the formation of gender desk police unit among others. The results of the study would be used to enhance policy interventions that would strengthen law enforcement on the part of the police and improve the functioning of the police gender desks.