GBV costly to healthcare system, says judge Ndung’u

Thursday, July 1st, 2021 00:00 | By
Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u. Photo/Courtesy

Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u yesterday said violence against women heavily costs the healthcare system, the judicial system and has adverse effects on the wellbeing of the society.

Speaking during the commemoration of the International Day of Parliamentarism and the launch of the Africa Young Parliamentarians Network, at a city hotel, Ndung’u urged MPs to raise community awareness about gender-based violence.

“I call upon the MPs to use their offices to raise awareness at the community level instead of waiting for violence to occur. Mitigation measures will be more important than healing,” said the judge.

The focus for this year’s commemoration is gender-based violence (GBV).

Ndung’u, who sponsored the Sexual Offences Bill 2006, when she was a member of the National Assembly, said the gaps in addressing violence against women were brought about by failure to implement existing laws.

She called on lawmakers to use their powers to persuade the Executive to implement laws passed Parliament.

More funds

She also urged MPs to allocate more money to programmes meant to create awareness, prevention and the expansion of healthcare centres that attend to the victims of violence.

“It is within your powers to increase allocation to areas that cater for the victims of gender violence,” she said.

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Cheboi called for allocation of more funds to agencies that implement policies and provide shelter to victims of GBV.

“Cognisant of our role as legislators in the budget-making process, I wish to implore upon on my colleagues to consider allocating more resources to State departments which are tasked to implement policies and provide safe places for the victims,” Chemoi said.

He said a study conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed that 23.6 per cent of Kenyans witnessed or heard cases of domestic violence in their  communities after the introduction of Covid-19 containment measures last year.

“The cases might be higher since some victims may not have filed  reports due to reasons such as stigmatisation, fear of more violence or lack of information on where they can report,” he said.

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