Women activists in Kericho County have intensified the fight for elimination of violence against women by urging the government to firmly deal with perpetrators of gender-based violence that result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm.
The activists who comprised students and lecturers from the University of Kabianga took to the streets of Kericho town urging the public to respect and protect the rights of women by shunning acts that violate their human rights.
The demonstrators led by Dr. Wangila Phanice also matched to Kericho County Commissioner’s office where they presented their grievances to Kericho Assistant County Commissioner Ms. Muthoni Nkubiria who promised to take action against violators of the rights of women and girls.
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violation in our county today and remains largely unreported due to the stigma, and shame surrounding it. We need to speak about it and take action to stop the vices,” added Dr. Wangila
She said violence against women manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms and sometimes even encompasses intimate partner violence that includes battering, psychological abuse, marital rape and femicide.
She further mentioned that the vices against women also manifest through sexual violence and harassment like rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment, human trafficking, slavery and sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and child marriage.
“Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals that aims to leave no one behind cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls,” stressed Dr. Wangila.
Hundreds of students, lecturers, members of civil society and other officials joined the world in commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which also marked the launch of the UNITE campaign which consists of 16 days of activism concluding on the day that commemorates the International Human Rights Day on December 10.
This year’s campaign UNITE Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls will aim to mobilize all members of society to become activists for the prevention of violence against women, to stand in solidarity with women’s rights activists and to support feminist movements around the world to resist the rollback on women’s rights and calling for a world free from Violence against Women and Girls.
By Kibe Mburu