Counties have been urged to collect and update data on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in a bid to curb the vice that is rampant across the country.
National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) chairperson Dr. Joyce Mwikali over the weekend observed that the updated GBV databases generated at the county levels would go a long way in addressing issues relating to equality and freedom from discrimination for different special interest groups.
Speaking at a Nanyuki hotel during a one-day workshop on the dissemination of national monitoring and evaluation framework towards the prevention and response to GBV, Dr. Mwikali noted that her Commission would use such data to produce periodic reports for national, regional, and international reporting on the progress made in the realization of equality and freedom from discrimination.
She further noted that the NGEC Act mandates the Commission to co-ordinate and advise on public education programmes for the creation of a culture of respect for the principles of equality and freedom from discrimination.
“It is against this background, and the fact that data specifically on Gender-Based Violence is critically needed to measure the progress made on Sustainable Development Goal Number, the Kenya 2030 development agenda, and counties’ commitments to ending GBV,” Dr. Mwikali said.
She added that the Commission had spearheaded the development of the inaugural National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework towards Prevention and Response of Gender-Based Violence, and a corresponding 2015 Gender-Based Violence Information System (GBVIS).
“The Commission has further spearheaded the development of a second edition of the framework with an aim of revising the sector indicators and expanding the system in terms of coverage of indicators, the range, scope, and levels of measurements, and data presentations. Also, the system and the framework incorporated other forms of gender-based violence including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Child and Forced Marriages (CFM),” she told the workshop.
Dr. Mwikali further stated that the framework was also designed to meet the critical needs of the key actors in the prevention and response to GBV in Kenya with attention to duty bearers.
The NGEC chairperson informed that workshop that plans for formulating the national GBVIS system were at an advanced stage and would soon be rolled out.
She noted that GBVIS shall also be useful in measuring progress made in the fulfillment of the commitments within the Kenya Kwanza Women Charter and by large the Kenya Kwanza manifesto in respect to ending all forms of harm and discrimination among women and children.
“These will include a commitment on, increase the number of, and personnel at, gender desks at police stations; and implementation of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation,” she said.
Laikipia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri who was also present noted that updated data on GBV incidences was crucial in informing the government on planning and budgeting.
“The government needs updated statistics in order to be aware of how the country is performing towards the fight against GBV,” Kanyiri said.
The County Commissioner also called for the inclusion of the County government and the county assembly in coming up with relevant policies to help the fight against GBV.
The workshop drew stakeholders drawn from the health, education, the Judiciary Directorate of Public Prosecution, Labour and social protection, the Anti-FGM board, the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk), and various Civil Society Organizations.
By Martin Munyi