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Advocacy groups hold Femicide Awareness Campaign on Valentine’s Day

Kisumu residents participated in an awareness campaign led by advocacy groups and Human Rights activists to highlight and take proactive measures against femicide on Valentine’s Day.

The movement held a vigil and memorial-themed ‘Dark Valentine’ at the Nyanza Reproductive Health Services (NRHS-Anza Mapema) on February 14 in honour of victims of femicide and to mobilise efforts to create a safer and more equitable society for all.

Different activists from across Kenya attended the occasion to drum up support, champion, and advocate for a future where all women can live free of violence and discrimination.

Speakers at the event emphasised having a robust legal framework and an effective law enforcement mechanism to hold perpetrators accountable for their despicable actions. Easter Oketch, Executive Director of Kenya Female Advisory Organisation (KEFEADO), said that a conducive environment should be created for women to voice their pressing issues.

“I have seen too many women fall victim to senseless violence, their lives cut short by those who are supposed to protect them. I therefore call on the government to forefront the mission to end femicide,” she said. Hence, she called on the government to be at the forefront of the fight to end femicide in the country.

The State, she added, should prioritise the issue of femicide, and lawmakers need to enact strict laws to protect women and ensure that the perpetrators face the full force of the law. “The government needs to ensure that those involved in this heinous act are brought to justice. We must stand together united in solidarity to end this senseless violence against women,” Easter said.

In recent months, Kenya has been grappling with a pressing issue of femicide, a clear manifestation of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) that has plunged communities worldwide.

In response to this alarming trend, Kisumu County has emerged as a focal point for advocacy, activism, and community mobilisation against the vice.

Since January this year, 14 women have been killed, five in marriage, and nine in relationships. Last year alone, 153 women were murdered in cold blood.

By Jesca Achieng and Stanely Kayaga

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