Gender Based Violence

 This December, when the world has just ended commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender- Based Violence, an annual event that is more relevant today especially with the current conflict and political violence being experienced in some pockets of the country.

Women aspirants in the country will have to contend with all manner of hurdles before they can ascend to leadership positions.

Eldoret based human resources consultant who is vying for the Uasin Gishu County Governor’s seat says most female aspirant drop their political ambition midway as the murky political field turns chaotic.

The high illiteracy rate among African women plays a major role in hindering their quest for justice in crimes that violate their rights as they remain targets of sexual violence particularly in times of conflict.

States like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic have had their fair share of gender injustices.

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TB stigma fuels gender violence

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Communities in northern Kenya are guided by their cultural beliefs that are adhered to with strictness. Without a second thought as to the effects of the community’s ways to different situations, people suffering from certain diseases have found themselves in desperation after being stigmatised and ostracised.

Cases of anxiety and depression disorders, the two leading mental illness, are on the rise among women leaving in some African countries, thanks to the current difficult economic times, gender roles and violence.

Kenya has taken a few steps in addressing Gender Based Violence and women’s human rights. Speaking at the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of women in New York, Minister for Gender Ms Esther Murugi in her statement said the Kenya government had redrafted and redefined gender responsive laws, namely: Family Protection Bill 2009, Marriage Bill of 2009 and the Matrimonial Property Bill of 2009.

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No end in sight to gender based violence

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In 1995, when the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were released, Gender Based Violence emerged as one of the main issues that governments needed to tackle.

 A recent study by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-K) - a women’s rights advocacy organization that works for gender equality through legal aid - reveals that disabled women are up to three times more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse than their non-disabled counterparts.

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