Youth, Gender and Public Service Cabinet Secretary (CS), Sicily Kariuki has called on communities to join hands with the government to fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
Speaking in Ndumberi grounds, Kiambu County on Saturday, Kariuki said it was regrettable that innocent people should be undergoing barbaric and retrogressive crimes, including rape, defilement and destruction of their properties.
The CS pointed that the National Gender Hotline 1195 had captured and responded to 47,000 calls in a period of 5 years, between 2013-2017, adding that 47% of women and 40% of men aged between 15-49 years have experienced either physical or sexual violence.
She revealed that 39% of married women and 9% of men aged 15-49 had reported having experienced spousal, physical or sexual violence while 50% of males aged 13-17 years accepted the use of violence against their spouses.
Kariuki stated that 5 out of every 10 females aged 18-24 years believed that it was acceptable for a husband to beat his wife.
This normalization of GBV should worry all of us, as it indicates a flawed socialization process that reinforces a general culture of silence, condemnation of victims and survivors and feelings of shame and unworthiness both on the part of victims and close family members, she said.
In his contribution, Kiambu governor, Ferdinand Waititu said better protection of survivors required collective community action against GBV, adding that more evidence based statistics and data to inform policy and programmes will help the society.
Waititu said the government working in partnership with state and non-state actors has established several mechanisms and frameworks for rapid response to GBV.
From peace in the home to peace in the World, make education safe for al,l as every individual deserves to live a free, secure and dignified life.GBV remains one of the most pervasive violence of Human Rights in Kenya and a big hindrance to the country’s socio-economic advancement, he said.
The County women representative, Gathoni Wamuchomba vowed to fight GBV in Kiambu and other parts of the country.
Gender Based Recovery Centres in public hospitals and Gender desks at police stations will help end GBV, and bring these harmful practices to a close, for a safer and more secure society where a dignified life is guaranteed for all said Wamuchomba.
Other leaders in attendance, included Kiambu Member of Parliament, Jude Njomo and elected members of the county Assembly.
The free help lines that respond to GBV, include the National GBV helpline 1195, police helpline 999/112, Child line Kenya 116, UWIANO SMS platform 10, Kimbilio GBV helpline, 1193, LVCR one zone youth helpline 1190 and the FIDA SMS platform 21661.
The 16 days of activism against GBV is an annual event held from 25th November, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th December, the Human Rights Day.
The government in partnership with stakeholders across all sectors will be galvanizing action against GBV through a variety of thematic activities across the Counties in Kenya, ranging from legal aid, health clinics, rites of passage, GBV public awareness campaigns in the communities and many others.
Source: Kenya News Agency