Kenya - Social development
The National Social Security Fund operates a limited pension fund for employed persons. Retirees (age 55) are entitled to a lump sum equal to total contributions plus accrued interest. Disability and survivor benefits are also paid. Medical coverage for employees includes hospital benefits only. Employers are also obligated to obtain private worker's injury insurance.
Facilities for social welfare have been largely in the hands of private and voluntary organizations. The government assists many of the voluntary organizations financially. The private and voluntary agencies are highly developed. There are societies that care for the blind, the deaf and mute, and the physically disabled, and voluntary organizations that care for the poor and destitute. Homes and hostels have been established throughout the country for the care of orphans, young offenders, and juvenile prostitutes.
Women in Kenya are traditionally responsible for planting, harvesting, and weeding food crops, and for this purpose children are viewed as an economic asset. Women also lack the legal rights provided to men. Women must obtain written permission from their husbands or fathers in order to obtain a passport. In practice, permission is also required for women applying for credit. Although the Law of Succession stipulates that sons and daughters should receive equal inheritances, traditional custom continues to benefit male children. In 1997 the constitution was amended to prohibit discrimination based on gender. Domestic violence against women is widespread, and it is viewed as a family issue not a criminal matter. Female genital mutilation is widely practiced, especially among certain ethnic groups.
Ethnic tensions between Kenyan tribal groups are pronounced. Tribal violence has occurred in the Rift Valley, as well as ethnically motivated fighting between Nubian and Luo populations erupted in Nairobi. Although most ethnic groups are represented in the government, Kikuyus sometimes face discrimination and harassment by government officials. Kenya's human rights record remains poor. There are many reports of extra judicial killings, the use of excessive force, and arbitrary arrest. Prison conditions are poor, and there are lengthy pretrial detentions.