The recent physical assault, rape and attempted murder of Ms. Irene Aisha by four men in Kibarani, Mombasa has brought to light how Gender Based Violence (GBV) has pervaded society.
GBV entails widespread human rights violations, and is often linked to unequal gender relations within communities and abuses of power. Victims of gender based violence experience lifelong emotional distress and mental health problems and many at times results in the loss of livelihoods.
Read also Civil society groups condemn rape and attempted murder of Irene Aisha in Kibarani, Mombasa
The cost of Gender based violence to survivors and their families is a great obstacle to reducing poverty or achieving gender equality and this impact negatively on a country’s ability to develop and construct a stable productive society
But as concerned, Kenyans, we can stand in solidarity with all survivors of gender based violence and call on all peace loving Kenyans to join in breaking the silence around this shameful pandemic. Gender based violence affects women, men, boys and girls and if left to continue gaining currency will effectively deny us healthy relationships.
Kenyans can demand;
- THAT the government and office of the Director of Public Prosecutions expands the database of special prosecutors on gender based violence cases to ensure expedient access to justice for all survivors of gender based violence in Kenya.
- THAT the office of the Inspector General of Police commits to fully resourcing all the gender desks at the police stations to ensure that all times there are adequate numbers of gender sensitive police officers ready to handle all cases of gender based violence .
- THAT the government through the relevant ministries and working with the County governments set up well equipped Gender Violence Recovery and Rescue Centers and establish safe houses in areas that have high incidences of gender based violence
- THAT the Chief Justice together with all relevant arms of the government of Kenya recognize gender based violence as a cancer in our society and proceed to set up special courts to prosecute cases of gender based violence.
- THAT the Judiciary as the custodians of justice continue to prioritize gender based violence cases and met out strict sentences in accordance to the Sexual Offences Act.
- THAT the government ensures that there is adequate resourcing for the implementation of all critical laws relating to gender based violence including but not limited to the Protection against Domestic Violence Act, the Sexual offences Act and the Witness Protection Act.
- THAT the government through the relevant offices puts in place the relevant special measures to guarantee security for all especially as we head to the electoral period.
The views expressed here were first published by The Africa UNiTE Kenya Chapter Steering Committee. It was established in 2012 and it provides a collective platform to a wide range of stakeholders including – government, civil society organizations, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to harmonize and synergize efforts towards raising public awareness, stimulating behavior change and increasing political will and resources for the prevention and response to all forms of violence against women and girls in the country