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Residents sensitized on SGBV, Gender Mainstreaming

Residents of Nanyuki, Laikipia County have been sensitized on how to curb Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and strengthen gender mainstreaming through social-economic development.

Speaking at a Nanyuki hotel during the training that brought together stakeholders in the education sector, religious, youth and Community Based Organizations, Laikipia Gender Coordinator Ms Karen Kiogora said that most people in the region lacked knowledge about gender mainstreaming which led to an increase of SGBV.

“We are here to do capacity building for every stakeholder on gender issues. This will enable them to handle SGBV at the grassroots level. We realised that there is an increase of gender violence,” said Ms Karen.

Ms Kiogora encouraged people to be open-minded on how to handle different roles at family level without prejudice. “We want them to appreciate that gender is about roles. Roles change with time. If one is able to undertake roles that were earlier done by other gender, they should not see it as an issue,” she encouraged.

Laikipia Mukogodo Girls Empowerment Program Director Josephine Ndirias lamented that culture, especially among the pastoralists’ communities, was a major setback in the fight against SGBV.

“In gender mainstreaming, we are still in darkness and when we talk about gender most people associate the subject with women. Women don’t have a say possibly just because they are women,” said Ms. Ndirias.

Ms. Ndirias said that some roles among the indigenous community were solely for men and others for women terming such a scenario a threat to gender mainstreaming.

However, she said that, with the advancement in education, the indigenous communities had started appreciating women unlike before where they were just there to be seen.

Leon Mwangi, a youth, said that they lacked knowledge which led to violation of their rights and the workshop was a good opportunity to learn on how to handle SGBV at the grassroots level.

Samuel Kariuki, Laikipia Rising Hope CBO chair, on his part, said that young parents needed to educate their families about SGBV at the initial stages in life.

By Muturi Mwangi

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