Approximately 40 out of 100 women in Kenya experience physical violence, with one in five women experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime, according to Trans Nzoia Deputy Governor, Dr. Stanley Tarus.
Tarus observed that Gender Based Violence (GBV) affects not only women victims, but also their families, relatives, friends, communities and country.
He estimated that the loss in productivity associated with close partner violence alone amounts to 1.2 per cent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Deputy County Chief said Trans Nzoia County, was fully committed towards sensitization and advocacy against Gender-Based Violence, whose this year’s theme is “I Care About You.”
“It is estimated that 3,000 survivors of Gender Based Violence Report at GBV Recovery Centre (GVRC) in Nairobi Women’s Hospital every year, the female population being the most affected at 56 per cent,” he said.
He was speaking in Kitale town during the county’s official launch of 16 Days Activism against GBV.
According to official, records seen by KNA in children protection unit at Kitale Police Station, about 150 cases of violence against young girls have been registered in Trans Nzoia County since this year.
Most of the reported cases at the children’s unit involve defilement, child rape, sexual assault, and other related offences.
To help ameliorate the situation in the country, Tarus urged national and devolved units to address what he described as glaring gender inequalities that cut across all government and private sectors.
The Deputy Governor further called on the stakeholders to move with speed and address the problem of teenage pregnancies, blaming some traditional customs for promoting the vice.
On overage, he said, four out of every 10 girls are married before their eighteenth birthday.
He noted early marriages have negatively impacted on overall growth in girl-child education in the Country.
“The government has a role in ensuring girls who drop out of school due to pregnancies proceed with their education,” noted Tarus.
He said the Trans Nzoia Administration fully supports the national plan of action to end Violence against women and children.
He said the planned initiative had the potential to upturn societal norms currently working against women and instead empower economically.
“This is a good step, and let me assure you that the County government of Trans Nzoia is committed towards working with the National Government to end violence against women,” promised Tarus.
Speaking at the same event, Gender CEC, Mrs. Christine Tanguli, challenged communities in the region to continue engaging men, in particular young boys, and make them understand the concept of gender equality.
The CEC observed that young boys require role models that promote the fight against women.
By Maurice Aluda