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GBV-a social economic barrier that hinders meaningful development

Gender Based Violence (GBV) has become one of the biggest hindrances in achieving meaningful socio economic growth in the country.

Migori County Governor’s wife, Mrs. Agnes Ochilo said upscaling men involvement in the fight against GBV by the United Activism Champions will help to address the deeply rooted gender inequality in the society.

The country’s First Lady Association Vice Chair added that the unequal power relation, FGM, weak and slow implementation of Migori Sexual Based Gender Policy were some of the factors delaying the GBV efforts.

Ochilo noted that GBV has become the most notable human rights violator in our modern society and more efforts should be focused on both the emotional and physical burdens of GBV.

She acknowledged that the First Lady’s Association will champion policies to help curb GBV menace to ensure that society is free from violators of justice for both genders. Ochilo also affirmed that the First Lady Lake Region Economic Bloc forum was looking at alternative ways to address issues related to GBV.

Migori County Commissioner Mr. Mwangi Meru urged the guardians together with area administrators to ensure that all grade six, class eight and the ongoing KCSE students are able to transition to their various levels of education to curb early pregnancies and early marriage that results to GBV among the young.

Meru thanked the Kuria elders for standing firm in championing “end Kuria FGM” which has majorly been blamed as the cause of GBV.

The administrator said that his administration and Migori FGM and GBV stakeholders were working closely with the Court Users Association to ensure the justice system plays its part effectively for justice to prevail.

Ripple Effect NGO-Migori Official Mr. Hamisi Hassan said that for the country to engage in any major socio economic activities the issues of social barriers need to be urgently addressed.

Hassan noted that HIV, FGM, teenage pregnancies and early marriages are some of the major social barriers that have hugely contributed to the GBV in the county.

The official said that teenage pregnancy leads to early marriage that initiates the cycle of GBV. He noted that new infection among the youths was also a contributor to GBV and involvement of men in the fight against the vice was equally important.

Ripple Effect NGO has been engaging youths, women and men through sports, agri business, trainings and health status checks during the 16-day Gender Based Violence awareness under the theme “End Femicide”.

According to the United Nations (UN) report of (2021), 45,000 women and girls were killed worldwide by their husbands, partner or other relatives where GBV is the biggest contributor. The report also showed that the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020 coincided with a significant increase in femicide cases across the globe.

Ripple Effect has been training farmers on smart farming, providing farm inputs and partnering with Beyond Zero campaign to bring health services closer to the community. Hassan said that these initiatives have greatly helped in reducing GBV among communities.

“The aim of the organisation is to improve the livelihoods of our people through better and improved farming practices to increase their per capital income with the aim of addressing challenges like GBV and HIV new infections,” noted Hassan.

Similarly, Kuria GBV Coordinator Ms. Nancy Moronge acknowledged that the burden of GBV has contributed negatively in terms of socio economic development at the household level.

She added that children have rights to education, clothing and food but when they lack these essential services, they may be forced to look elsewhere and end up being pregnant, getting married and being exposed to the GBV vice.

Moronge underscored that it will take the community initiative to accept that GBV actually happens to be able to address health problems, poverty and teenage pregnancy. She also encouraged the community to speak about defilement to nab the perpetrators, provide psychological assistance and help seek legal assistance for the affected parties.

By Geoffrey Makokha

 

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