Officials from the Gender office in Kericho County have decried the escalating cases of Gender-Based Violence within the County.
While condemning the human rights abuses, the Kericho County Gender Officer, Beatrice Chebet, pointed out that several cases of Female Genital Mutilation had been experienced in the County at Kapsaos, Kaptele and Kipkelion.
Chebet said the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a significant event used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
“There is also a rise in teenage pregnancy and we are therefore urging girls and parents to speak out so that legal action can be taken against the perpetrators. We need accountability,” she said.
Chebet was addressing the press outside the County Commissioner’s office after students from the University of Kabianga participated in a 20-kilometre walk from Kabianga to Kericho town raising awareness on Gender-Based Violence.
The hundreds of students adorned in orange T-shirts were accompanied by representatives from James Finlay Kenya, Siloam Hospital, Rotary Club of Kericho, Kenya Red Cross Society, Lions Club of Kericho, Brighter Communities Worldwide, Kenya Girl Guide Association, Transform Us Kenya Kericho, and Linda Msichana Organisation.
On her part, the University of Kabianga Director in Charge of Gender and Development, Dr Phanice Wangila, mentioned that the global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, is “Orange the World: End violence against women now!” stressing that the only way to end Gender-Based Violence is through protection”.
“Women and children are the most vulnerable and that is why they need to be protected. Some cases of violence against men are also present in our communities and that is why we are raising this awareness from today until 10th of December so that we cultivate a culture of honour and respect,” said Dr Wangila.
According to the United Nations, the advocacy was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership.
In support of this civil society initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.
By Kibe Mburu