'We have not totally won the fight against GBV which include defilement, rape, murder, early marriages and teenage pregnancies. I call upon all stakeholders to join hands in eradicating these vices'
Residents of Wajir have been urged to double their efforts in the fight against gender-based violence for the vice to be eradicated.
Education executive Hussein Sugow on Monday said gender-based violence remains a matter of concern with cases rising.
Statistics show that one in every 10 women experience sexual violence in their lifetime in Wajir. Most cases are rape and defilement.
Sugow said progress was being made in the fight against GBV but more needs to be done to completely eradicate the wickedness.
Victims often incur huge costs and emotional and stress that strain their families and communities.
He said the community needs to pull in one direction and speak with one voice to on the matter, saying blame game won't solve the problem.
"We have won the fight against girl-child education but we have not totally won the fight against GBV which include defilement, rape, murder, early marriages and teenage pregnancies. I call upon all stakeholders to join hands in eradicating these vices,” Sugow said.
He was speaking at Wajir Stadium after leading a procession of local leaders, security officers and activists during this year's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Maslaha, a traditional mediation system that allows offenders to pay livestock to the families of those offended has been blamed for the rise in rape and defilement cases.
"More than 20 years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, one in three women still experience physical or sexual violence. This is unacceptable and reminds us of the need to redouble our efforts," Sugow said.
The executive said the county was committed to empowering women through support to establish start-up businesses and access to revolving funds.
Activist Fatuma Yussuf said it was high time the community took a collective responsibility to ensure GBV cases are completely eradicated.
So serious is the matter that the county recently opened a recovery center for gender-based violence survivors. The center is fully equipped and has an operational desk with a hotline number.
Sugow urged residents to make use of the facility and to report any incidences of violence.
The Wajir county assembly recently passed Sexual and Gender Violence Bill 2019 to become the first county to do so.
The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an annual international campaign that runs from November 25 to December 11.
November 25 is the international day for the elimination of violence against women while December 10 is for marking the human rights day.
Gender-based violence, whether physical, sexual or emotional is recognised globally as one of the most widespread and persistent violations of the rights of women and girls.
edited by p. obuya