A section of women leaders have warned over increasing cases of violence against women and children, saying that even female parliamentarians aren’t safe.
The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) commissioner Priscilla Nyokabi said that over the last one week, the country has witnessed horrific murders and violence meted against women, at home and in the workplace.
A supervisor at Eastmatt Supermarkets was caught on camera assaulting a cashier while at work. Another video circulated online on Monday showing a male driver assaulting a female security officer.
Speaking during a press conference by women parliamentarians and those in leadership, Ms Nyokabi said that the situation has become so bad that even in Parliament women aren’t safe from violent language and threats.
Nyokabi said that they are saddened by a recent report authored by the Senate Legal Affairs and Justice Committee that trashed the constitutional provisions on the equality of women and men.
The NGEC commissioner said the committee rejected a bill by Senators Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Haji Farhiya Ali proposing the amendment of Article 97 of the Constitution.
“The bill advocates for the effecting of the two-thirds gender principle through the provision of the top-up clause to implement this principle whenever it is required,” said the commissioner.
Ms Nyokabi demanded urgent action to end gender-based violence, arguing that in countries where women are included in decision making, the gross domestic product ( rises.
Speaking at the same event, Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) chairperson, Purity Ngirici, said that they will support 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 Ms Ngirici, who is also the Kirinyaga Woman Representative.
Uasin Gishu County Senator Margaret Kamar said that it is time the truth about women’s performance in Parliament and the Senate is recognised.
“Women perform way much better than their male counterparts in Parliament and even the senate and hence they need to be acknowledged,” said Prof Kamar.
In Makueni, County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed decried the increasing number of sexual abuse cases against young women and girls.
Speaking at Unoa grounds, Mr Maalim said that statistics on defilement and rape in the county were startling.
“Sexual abuse against young women and girls is very rampant across the county, and we will not tolerate the violence,” he said.
Maalim disclosed that 51 cases were prosecuted in a three-week exercise by special courts that saw 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.
In Narok, County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti said that gender-based violence affects both genders and is perpetrated in various forms, including female genital mutilation, 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 Maasai Mara University deputy vice-chancellor, 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.