• There could be more cases away from the media attention that have not been reported.
• Reports show that 84 women were murdered between January and October by their boyfriends and husbands.
Violence against women is a serious problem in Kenya and it affects women and girls from all aspects of life.
The killing of women and girls on account of their gender is an increasingly frequent occurrence with a spate of similar deaths happening in Kenya. Reports show that 84 women were murdered between January and October by their boyfriends and husbands.
It starts with verbal abuse to severe beatings then killing. It is worse when the assault comes from people these victims hold dear and trust. The media carries shocking stories of women who have been victims of gender-based violence. There could be more cases away from the media attention that have not been reported.
But in Kenya, violence against women is becoming more frequent, less visible and harder to solve due to ineffective law enforcement. The Kenyan government response is inadequate. Many victims do not get justice, medical help or counselling following sexual violence.
Many end up committing suicide due to the embarrassment and shame, some are even ridiculed in public and the families are left to pick up the pieces. Cultural norms are making things far worse by the day because women and men believe the husband is justified to beat his wife for small reasons.
Some even end up saying that beating is a form of punishment and other women feel that if the man doesn’t beat her, he doesn’t love her. All these customary laws should be in the past.
Jealousy, obsession and fear of abandonment, conflict, breakups, divorce and mental illness are the most common causes of violence. Femicide is related to high rates of depression in men. Gender-based violence is a national disaster and should be declared as so.
Naya Kenya, Nairobi