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Women leaders express concern over rising cases of ‘femicide’

A  section of women parliamentarians and those in influential positions have condemned the escalating trends of violence against women and children.

The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) Commissioner, Priscilla Nyokabi said that in the last one week alone the country has witnessed horrific murders and they are deeply concerned at the rising levels of insecurity in homes, workplaces and in relationships.

Speaking during a press conference by Women Parliamentarians and those in leadership, Nyokabi said that the incidences of violence against women have been witnessed even in parliament stating that use of violent language and threats against female parliamentarians have been witnessed.

Nyokabi  stated that they are saddened by the recent report of the Senate Legal Affairs and Justice Committee that has trashed the constitutional provisions on the equality of women and men and the bill of rights which calls for equal socio-economic and political rights for women, youth, persons living with disabilities and marginalized communities.

She alluded that the committee is reported to have rejected the bill presented by Senators, Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Haji Farhiya proposing the amendment of Article 97 of the constitution.

“The bill advocates for the effecting of the two-third gender principle through the provision of the top-up clause to implement this principle whenever it is required,” added the commissioner.

She  further said that they celebrate the invaluable contribution of the women of Kenya and the importance of safeguarding and protecting their gains in all the spaces.

“We note with concern and reject the ongoing narrative that women are overly represented and contribute to the high wage bill which is grossly misleading,” she said.

She demanded urgent action by all actors to end gender-based violence adding that in countries where women are included in decision making, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rises.

Speaking during the press briefing, the  Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) Chairperson -Kirinyaga women representative- Purity Ngirici said that they will support the common women’s agenda and aspirations of women across Kenya.

“We will continue agitating for two thirds rule and up to 50-50 in the appointing seats and raise concern on the increasing gender-based violence and other issues affecting the women of Kenya,” said Ngirici.

The Uasin Gishu County Senator, Prof. Margaret Kamar said that it is time the truth about women’s performance in parliament and the senate is recognized.

“Women perform way much better than their male counterparts in the parliament and even the senate and hence they need to be acknowledged,” said Kamar.

In  Makueni, the County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohamed decried the increasing number of sexual abuse cases against young women and girls in the county.

Maalim  said at Unoa grounds statistics on defilement and rape in the county were startling, and underscored the need by stakeholders to create awareness and curb the vice.

“Sexual abuse against young women and girls is very rampant across the county, and we will not tolerate the violence,” he said.

The county commissioner noted the special sessions in Makindu Law Courts in October to clear the backlog of defilement and rape cases was one of the many ways that the government was using to fight the vice.

Maalim  disclosed that 51 cases were prosecuted in the three week exercise with six men sentenced to life imprisonment for defilement.

“Others were sentenced to between nine to 20 years in prison for defilement and rape cases,” he added.

The CC however, called for the setting up of a rescue centre in the county, to act as a safe haven for gender-based violence victims.

In  Narok, the County Commissioner, Samuel Kimiti at the Ole Ntimama Stadium in Narok town said that gender-based violence affects both genders and is perpetrated in various forms including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early marriages, early pregnancies, rape and defilement of young girls among others.

“There is also a lot of violence in families, perpetrated by family members who deny their relatives rights to basic needs such as food and education by failing to provide for them while others deny them their right to inheritance leading to conflicts,” he added.

The administrator called for an end to this form of violence while also urging any person who comes across any form of gender based violence to report to the police or call the helpline numbers that are being set up in every sub county. The helpline number for Narok North Sub County is 0794821444.

The  Maasai Mara University Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academics and Student Affairs, Prof. Godrick Bulitia Mathews  said  gender violence in institutions of learning happens when someone denies a student marks and demands that the students fulfils certain conditions set by him or her before the marks can be released for instance.

By  KNA  Team

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