Assistant Coordinator policy advocacy and communication
Agnes K. Meroka-Mutua is a researcher, teacher, gender equality scholar and human rights advocate. She is an Advocate of the High court of Kenya with 13 years’ experience in the practice of law in Kenya
Dr. Agnes K. Meroka-Mutua is a researcher, teacher, gender equality advocate and human rights advocate. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Private Law, School of Law, University of Nairobi, where she teaches and supervises in the following areas: Law and Development; Gender and the Law; Human Rights Law; Disability Rights Law. She is a board member at the Africa Co-ordinating Center for the Abandonment of FGM (ACCAF); Member of the Research Team and Assistant Policy Co-ordinator, at the University of Nairobi, Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) Hub; Member of the Research and Training Team, University of Nairobi, Centre for Land Acquisition and Resettlement Studies. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the East African Law Journal, which is published by the University of Nairobi, School of Law. Dr. Meroka-Mutua works directly with communities, sensitizing them on the need to protect the rights of women and girls. She uses research as a tool to promote gender equality and social justice. Her research, teaching and supervision are informed by African philosophies.
Dr. Meroka-Mutua holds a Ph.D in Law, from the University of Warwick, School of Law, where she wrote her doctoral thesis titled, “A Feminist Critique of Land, Law and Politics in Kenya”. She was awarded the Warwick Postgraduate Scholarship in 2009 to enable her pursue doctoral studies. She also holds an LL.M in International Development Law and Human Rights, from the University of Warwick, School of Law and is an alumnus of the Commonwealth Scholarship Association, having been awarded the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship in 2007. She holds an LL.B from the University of Nairobi, School of Law, a Post-graduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law, and is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Dr. Meroka-Mutua is a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, School of Law. She earned her Ph.D in Law in 2013 from the University of Warwick, School of Law, where she researched on the gender dimensions of land, law and politics in Kenya. She was awarded the Warwick Postgraduate Scholarship in 2009. She holds an LL.M in International Development Law and Human Rights, also from the University of Warwick, School of Law and is an alumnus of the Commonwealth Scholarship Association, having been awarded the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship in 2007. She holds an LL.B from the University of Nairobi, School of Law, and was awarded the Kaplan and Stratton Prize in 2006. She also holds a Post-graduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law, and is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
Dr. Meroka-Mutua has extensive experience in mixed methods research and some of her research projects include:
Research on the Gendered Impacts of the COVID-19 Responses in Kenya, which has now been published by the School of Law, University of Nairobi. The aim of this project was to highlight the specific ways in which the measures adopted by the Kenyan Government to contain the pandemic affect men and women differently, and to make proposals on how engendering these COVID-19 containment measures could make them more effective. One of the issues analysed in that study is the impact of the merging of the public and private spheres due to the closure of public spaces, and how this has increased the burden of care work for women within the home. In addition, the study also highlights the gendered nature of Kenya’s home-based care guidelines for asymptomatic and mild symptom COVID-19 patients, so as to ease the pressure on hospitals. This study finds that COVID-19 has revealed how existing gender inequalities become even more entrenched in the context of emergencies.
Dr. Meroka-Mutua is an expert consultant on anti-FGM legal interventions and has led and completed a legal-anthropology multi-country study on compliance with anti-FGM laws in three countries in Africa. The study was funded by UKAID under the Population Council, Evidence to End FGM Programme. The study highlighted the ways in which law is used to promote behavior change in contexts where the specific behavior is rooted in culture, and it proposed ways in which law may be uses more effectively to promote abandonment of FGM.
She has also conducted research on gender, care and ageing in Africa, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Warwick Global Challenges Research Fund. Together with other partners, such as HelpAge International, this project focused on how care is provided for older persons in the African context. The project highlighted how women’s work subsidises the state in providing care for the ageing, given that most African countries do not have any state run facilities that provide such care. Consequently, while care for the ageing is provided by either the family or privately run care homes, it is mainly women who are relied upon as care workers in both situations. In spite of this, there is little provision within law and policy to regulate care work, hence leaving the women who provide care in these contexts to continue working in precarious conditions, where their labour remains under-valued.
Currently, Dr. Meroka-Mutua is undertaking research on Inclusive Public Spaces for persons with disabilities in Kenya, with funding from the University of Leeds. The aim of this project is to assess Kenya’s legal framework for the inclusivity and accessibility of public spaces such as streets, roads and public buildings, by persons with disabilities.