Calls for unity to end gender-based violence as activism carries on

Leaders have called for unity in fighting against gender-based violence in the country as the 16 days of activism against the vice, which was launched on Friday carry on.

Kenya joined the world to embark on activism campaigns to denounce gender-based violence starting from Kilifi County where the social problem is rampant.

Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa said the violence against women and girls has devastating effects on victims and therefore urged the members of the society and the affected persons to break the culture of silence for necessary actions to be taken to end it.

GBV undermines the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of its victims, yet in some instances, it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. GBV is a gross violation of fundamental human rights and has severe, long-term negative impacts on the physical, and psychological well-being of the survivors and their families,” she said

“We call upon you and me and everyone to take part in making it possible to end gender-based violence. And in these 16 days, you ask yourself, what will be your contribution,” she added.

Unity, which was the theme of the activism campaign, she said was vital in ending gender violence adding that no single Government Ministry, Department, Agency, faith based or civil society organization can address GBV in isolation.

The CS, therefore, called for responses that provide multi-agency and multi-sectoral interventions with regard to health, legal, psycho-social, economic and cultural aspects in fighting against GBV.


“We the people of Kilifi, collaborating with other Kenyans, and our partners, must pull together to reject gender violence,” said Aisha.


On his part, Kilifi Governor Gideon Mungaro said reporting and handling GBV cases is a collective responsibility, urging members of the community to be vigilant and support the government in its mission to protect women and girls.


“Together we must cooperate as individuals and collectively as a team to reduce this menace that has hit us, which is gender violence,” said Mungaro.


However, the leaders expressed their disappointment on the justice system and blamed the police department for negligence when dealing with some of the perpetrators while the judicial system takes too long to deliver justice to victims causing them to lose hope and drop the GBV cases.


In a recent case, Kilifi Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) representative Teresia Bwire revealed that a police officer suspected to have raped two minors in Marereni area has not yet been arrested while Kilifi deputy police commander Willy Simba admitted that the officer escaped and could not be found.


The incident, which angered the leaders, was seen as one of the many cases that are not handled because of negligence while high-ranking people in society and government officials paralyze the process especially when they are involved.


The leaders condemned the police force for their negligence and called for immediate action to be taken against the suspected police officer to be arraigned in court without further delay.


“We want special courts to deal with GBV and these must be available in every county because when culprits get arrested, they are taken to these normal courts where the cases are deferred until they get forgotten,” he said.