State launches campaign to end violence against women
Violence against women and girls remains high with all measures being taken by key stakeholders to ensure that it is reduced or totally eliminated.
From laws and policies to establishment of Gender Based Violence Recovery centres in major hospitals the government is doing all it can to ensure that women’s rights are respected and they do not suffer from sexual and gender based violence.
A campaign dubbed Jitokeze (come out) is a joint programme by the Ministry of Gender and UN Women. They have activated the hotline number, 1195, where victims can report such cases.
“Gender-based violence remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time and is endemic in Kenya. In particular, violence against women and girls is worryingly high,” said Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender.
Some of the violations meted on girls and women in the country despite being outlawed include female genital mutilation and child marriages.
The Kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2014 shows that 47 percent of women and 40 percent of men aged between 15–49 had experienced either physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partners or spouses.
“Gender Based violence is still prevalent despite the existence of legislative frameworks, judicial sanctions, advocacy and sensitisation efforts that have been put in place. The government’s Medium-Term Plan II has prioritised it as a key gender issue that needs to be tackled urgently,” said Kariuki.
Statistics from the Gender Violence Recovery Centre shows that the country records close to 3,000 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, of this number 1,172 are children.
The Protection Against Domestic Violence Act addresses cases of violence and introduces stringent penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence. Any person who commits an offence under this law is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding KSh200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.
In addition, individuals who disobey court protection orders will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding KSh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
“Anybody who contravenes protection orders commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding KSh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment,” reads the law in part.
- This article was published in the Star Newspaper. Additional reporting by AWC.