The Coast Education Centre (COEC) is a Kenyan non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to empowering youth, women, and marginalized communities in community development. COEC contributes to local, national, and international efforts to promote human rights, development, and social wellbeing.
Gender-Inclusivity: A Means for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
In September 2016, the Government of Kenya launched its national strategy for countering violent extremism (CVE). However, the strategy overlooked the gendered impacts of violent extremism and the valuable contributions of women in CVE efforts. In response, COEC organized regional consultations involving 100 women from six coastal counties to address the gaps in the government’s approach and advocate for gender-inclusive strategies in CVE.
With support from ICAN’s Innovative Peace Fund (IPF), COEC created the Coast Women’s CVE Charter. This document was presented to the Government of Kenya in October 2018 and contained essential recommendations. These suggestions centered around providing psychosocial support, implementing gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation of CVE policies and programs, and ensuring funding availability for women-led organizations.
As a result of COEC’s CVE outreach efforts, by 2019 COEC had directly impacted 1,645 individuals and indirectly reached 5,000 beneficiaries. Moreover, the Government of Kenya acknowledged COEC’s recommendation and agreed to establish partnerships and coordination between civil society organizations, relevant ministries, and county governments concerning security and human rights matters. Recently, the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) expressed its intention to revise Kenya’s national CVE strategy, signaling a positive step towards addressing the gendered impacts of violent extremism and incorporating valuable contributions from women in the process.
“The IPF grant is flexible, which has enabled COEC to empower women today to choose peace over chaos, faith over fears and others over themselves. Thank you ICAN for making it possible.”
– Halima Mohamed, Executive Director, Coast Education Center, Kenya