Lobbies decry upsurge of gender-based violence

Want state to bring perpetrators to book to 'honour its commitment to uphold the rights of women'

In Summary

• 'At least 22 cases of defilement and one case of femicide in three out of the seven subcounties of Busia recorded'. 

• Official blames the 'authorities' inaction'. 

Image: FILE

Rights defenders want the state to put in place measures to protect girls from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. 

They have expressed concern over the upsurge of femicide and other forms of violence in Kisumu and Busia counties. 

Equality Now, Kisumu Medical and Education Trust and Rural Education and Economic Enhancement Programme(Reep) want the authorities to ensure all perpetrators of sexual violence are brought to book.  

Addressing the press in Kisumu on Thursday, Equality Now programmes officer Naitore Nyamu said this will ensure Kenya honours its national, regional and international commitments to uphold the rights of women and girls. 

"Kenya cannot afford to backtrack on these obligations," she said. 

Nyamu said 15 days ago, they buried a 17-year-old girl after she was gang-raped and murdered in Bujumba, Busia county.

Her attackers also chopped off her limbs before fleeing the scene, Nyamu said. 

“A month earlier, a 16-year-old girl was defiled and her homestead razed by irate members of the public who blamed her for the death of her attacker,” she said. 

“Between February and May this year, Reep-Kenya has handled at least 22 cases of defilement and one case of femicide in three out of the seven subcounties of Busia. Scores of other cases went unreported.”

Nyamu said the situation in Kisumu is not any better, adding that they are concerned by the authorities lack of action to end these violations.

“This wanton abuse of the rights of women and girls is of grave concern to us, we insist that this is stopped." 

Nyamu said sexual and gender-based violence is a violation of human rights that "should be treated with the seriousness it deserves".

“We demand state accountability for these violations and call upon the national and county governments to protect women and girls.”

Edited by R.Wamochie