Stakeholders call for end of GBV in Kenya’s informal settlements
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya has joined other stakeholders to sensitize communities in the informal settlements of Nairobi on the need to end gender-based violence.
Together with Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) funded consortium CSOs, the National and Nairobi County Government, the stakeholders are keen on implementing strategies aimed at achieving gender equality, and living up to the promise to leave no one behind, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through this initiative, the MoFA consortium partners will mobilize CSOs and CBOs in Nairobi County to sensitize the general public against Gender Based Violence especially from the informal settlements.
As the world marked the individuals and organizations around the world organized campaigns to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
Speaking during an event to commemorate the Human Rights Day, David Mutua the Assistant County Commissioner for Kibera recognized the effort of the government in its own pursuit to end matters relating to SGBV in its own ways. He also pinpointed factors such as parental neglect, poverty unemployment among others as the leading factors of increased cases of SGBV in Kibera.
‘’Kibra has its shares of cases of defilement, rape ,harassment ,domestic violence among others. We should not keep quiet about it but speak up and find a solution to it as everyone plays their part,” he said.
Speaking in regards to the role of politics in ending SGBV, Jane Akeo an aspiring politician and a teacher advocating for the the rights of young mothers to access education said that its time for women to play their role in fighting for their rights.
‘’SGBV is a very serious matter that shouldn’t be handled lightly. Although it also happens to men, women’s voices have to be amplified everywhere. For if we as women don’t stand up and demand for our voices to be heard then no one will do it for us. We should be proud of this battle we are fighting .Even in elections ,women fear taking up their democratic rights to elect their chosen leaders since violence has always prevailed during such times. Let’s not take on political roles or vie for seats like most of our male counterparts but let’s be authentic using peaceful methods to let our voices be heard .She goes on further calling on to policy makers to take up their work and ensure victims get their rights. Policies should be implemented to make sure justice prevails for all. For we’ve all got a role to play to end violence, let’s stop compromising, ’she adds.
Covid 19 pandemic was also noted to have led to an increase in SGBV cases reported. Data showed that Nairobi has had the leading cases of SGBV to adolescent with 1659 having suffered violence this year. With 50% of the victims counted to have either gotten pregnant from the incident, infected with HIV and also dropped out of school which threatens the human capital needed for economic growth.
Mohamed Sheikh the Director General of the National General for the National Council for Population and Development commended the government intervention to bring down the cases. “SGBV is a serious Human right violation and we need to put an end to the social, economic and cultural practices that propagate such,” he said.
He reiterated the commitment by the government to eliminate all forms of SGBV and the effective provision of accessible services for the survivors.
“GBV is a consequence of inequality and results in great violence of human rights. Orange is a color that says no to human right violation, gender inequality and SGBV. We should therefore prioritize the prevention and elimination of SGBV and all form of violence .We should also address on the form of GBV or else eliminating it will be in vain .A lot still needs to be done,’’ Maarten Brouwer the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Kenya, concluded.
Ben Ouko a representative of the youths emphasized the need to include the youths in the discussion table on matters SGBV since they are mostly seen as the perpetrators. “Youths should get a chance to sit at the discussion tables to air out their thoughts too. Mostly when such occasions as this are held women and the victims are always present ,but what about the perpetrators? They are behind bars and such discussions can’t be fruitful if all those involved are not around,” he said.