Category : Naya Blog
Gender based violence(GBV) is any act that result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life perpetrated against a person based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females.
GBV is one of the most widespread and socially tolerated forms of human rights violations, cutting across nationality, race, class, ethnicity, and religion. It is a major source of inequality in Kenya today. It has a profound social and economic impact on families, communities, and the entire nation, as well as serious ramifications on national security.
Gender based violence in Kenya, as elsewhere in the world, is a complex issue that has at its root structural inequalities between men and women, young and old. This results in the persistence of power differentials between the sexes. According to the Gender Violence Recovery Centre(GVRC), men are the main perpetrators of violence. 90% of GBV perpetrators are usually men.
Gender based violence remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time. Some of the violations meted on girls and women here in Kenya despite being outlawed include, child marriages, female genital mutilation and sex trafficking.
According to the Kenya demographic health survey, about 39 percent of women and girls in Kenya aged 15 and above have experienced physical violence, with approximately one in four experiencing such violence each year.
Kenya has made significant strides regarding GBV and other health-related human rights. From policies and laws to establishment of gender based violence recovery centers to awareness creation, both the state and non-state actors are doing all they can to ensure that women’s rights are respected and protected.
However, the best way to end violence against women and girls is to prevent it from happening in the first place by addressing its root and structural causes.
Prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls promoting respectful relationships and gender equality. Working with youth is a “best bet” for faster, sustained progress on preventing and eradicating gender-based violence. While public policies and interventions often overlook this stage of life, it is a critical time when values and norms around gender equality are forged.
By Michael Okun Oliech (@MikeOkunson)