Calls to end gender violence dominate day

Monday, May 10th, 2021 00:00 | By
Lawyer George Kithi gives a flower to a worshiper at the East Africa Pentecostal Church in Kikambala in Kilifi county during a celebration to mark Mother’s Day. Photo/PD/Ndegwa Gathungu

As the world celebrated the Mother’s Day, a section of women organisations and political leaders in Kilifi county, have called for proper measures by the government to contain the breakaway gender based violence.

Speaking during a church event to celebrate Mother’s Day at the East African Pentecostal Church Mamba, in Kikambala, Kibibi Ali,the chairlady of the Kilifi Mums Forum, said women have continued to be victims of injustice in the society.

Report desks

“Women have continued to be vulnerable. Land and domestic injustices are among the vices women have suffered in silence. We are calling on authorities to put proper measures to end injustices against women,” said Ali.

Lawyer George Kithi who was at the prayer session said  Gender-Based Violence (GBV) vices have continued to thrive owing to lack of report desks where women can report their problems if they are victimised.

“We are calling for establishment of gender desks in all working areas, and especially public offices so that women can easily report their concerns without necessarily having to suffer in silence,” said Kithi.

In the church event, the women were treated to a special cooking and food service courtesy of men, in an appreciation and celebration to all mothers and women.

“We have decided to cook for them and feed them so that they can feel appreciated and celebrated.

This is a unique way of saying we love our mothers and women in general,” said Kithi who led the exercise to feed the women.

As the country grapples with the unprecedented rise in GBV cases, Mombasa youth have embarked on a mitigation campaign targeting women and girls.

In April 20, 2021, Public service and Gender Cabinet secretary Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia said at the end of 2020, some 5,009 GBV cases were reported compared to the same period in 2019 with 1,411 cases.

The cases include rape, domestic violence, Female Genital Mutilation, early marriage, attributed to challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease.

Stretchers Youth Organisation executive director Dickson Okong’o said the government’ shift to focus to fight Covid-19 has, opened a window for GBV related incidences to thrive countrywide.

“We have started sensitising youth between the ages of 18-24 as champions, so that we can equip them with knowledge and sensitise the grassroots population on issues to do with GBV.

The country needs to embark on mitigation early enough to avoid further escalation,” Okongo said.

Okong’o who spoke during a sexual reproductive health and rights champions training in Mombasa yesterday, claimed the  number of cases may go out of control, if mitigation measures, among them sensitisation, are not given to the vulnerable population.

This happens as GBV’s are on the rise with Mombasa recording about 1,175 cases reported since the beginning of 2020 to date in the Coastal region.

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