ERADICATING VICE

Garissa launches 16 days of activism against GBV

Sexual violence against the boy child must not be forgotten, says Digale

In Summary
  • Digale said a campaign recently launched in Lagdera subcounty by the county in partnership with Unicef to eradicate FGM and GBV has yielded positive results.
  • The executive called for concerted efforts to reduce the disparity in girl child education, acceleration to abandonment of FGM and early marriages.
Gender executive Zeinab Digale speaking at the event.
ERADICATING THE VICE: Gender executive Zeinab Digale speaking at the event.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The Garissa county government has launched 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

The county was on Wednesday feted for its contribution in the war against gender-based violence by the National Gender and Equality Commission.

Gender executive Zeinab Digale, who was the chief guest at the event held at a Garissa hotel, appreciated the award and recognition by the commission.

"As we celebrate today's theme to end violence against women, we must not forget to address cases of  sexual violence against the boy child,'' the county executive said.

Garissa Gender executive Zeinab Digale [2nd right] received the award. The county has been feted for its contribution in the war against gender-based violence.
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE: Garissa Gender executive Zeinab Digale [2nd right] received the award. The county has been feted for its contribution in the war against gender-based violence.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Digale said a campaign recently launched in Lagdera subcounty by the county government in partnership with Unicef to eradicate FGM and gender-based violence has yielded positive results.

She said the county government shared the joy with Gender Technical Working Group which has been instrumental in the fight.

The executive appreciated the role community volunteers and the Ministry of Interior played.

She said the Gender Technical Working Group is also committed towards the Presidential directive to end FGM by 2022.

The executive called for concerted efforts to reduce the disparity in girl child education, acceleration to abandonment of FGM and early marriages.

Northeastern Gender and Equality Commission co-ordinator Abduwahab Ibrahim appreciated the commitment by county government and the technical working group for exemplary services to the minority, youth and women, fight against GBV and commitment to child protection.

Unicef child protection specialists Zeinab Ahmed lauded the fruitful partnership  with county towards child protection and fight against the harmful practices.

Activist Irshad Yussuf and Northeastern Gender and Equality Commission regional coordinator Abdiwahab Ibrahim [R] holds the award that was given to Garissa county.
ERADICATING THE VICE: Activist Irshad Yussuf and Northeastern Gender and Equality Commission regional coordinator Abdiwahab Ibrahim [R] holds the award that was given to Garissa county.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Several speakers including government officials, clerics and human rights activists pointed an accusing finger at the parents in the fight against FGM.

They said parents are to blame for the harmful practice because they not only encourage but facilitate the exercise.

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, about 9.5 million girls below the age of 18 are cut every year. The Somali community leads at 98 per cent, followed by the Samburu at 94 per cent.

“As government officials and other non-state actors, we might be doing all that is within our reach to fight this retrogressive cultural practice.

"However, as long as it doesn’t have the goodwill of those charged with the responsibility of taking care of the young ones, then we won't achieve much,” Mohamed Khalif an activist said.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)