Gender based violence (GBV) is the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of conflict between two genders, within the context of specific society. GBV, to which women are more prone to, encompasses acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm and suffering, threats of such acts coercion and other deprivations.
In Kenya, 4 out of every 10 women, 8 out of every 10 girls and 2 out of every 10 men are subject to this menace.
Empowerment of all genders is a difficult task but one that cannot be ignored. Indulging women and youth in economic empowerment projects that help both men and women access resources including information, loans that help bring financial independence and women enterprise funds that can aid women move away from their perpetrators should be embraced widely within the different societies in Kenya. Anyone facing GBV should get maximum support and encouragement that can help them break themselves free of that bondage.
Legislation, as a pillar for resolution in Kenya, states clear repercussions in the sexual offences act for various acts of GBV such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) clauses. A national campaign towards prevention of gender fueled violence and response policies can be put in place. These can enable the enacting of codes of ethics and appropriate report procedures in an event of sexual harassment. It also enables the enacting of sentences on offenders to the full extent of the law and minimization of police oversight on GBV claim cases so as to prevent corruption and isolation of survivors by perpetrators.
Raising awareness on rights of survivors and giving inspirational hope on matters of their struggle is also necessary. There should be provision of appropriate counselling services to survivors and men and women need to be encouraged to speak out so as to protect their children and their dignity.
Added to that, there can be inculcated systems in which police watch for GBV cases on toll-free lines and affirmative action groups to facilitate case handling and protection of survivors. Awareness and counselling should be given to early partners on amicable conflict solving mannerisms to deter from any form of violence.
Education of every community, gender and society of GBV and its effects is also necessary.
For men and boys, it is upon them to take on an advocate role against women and girls abuse. They can be the core pillar of transformation of possible abusers. Community engagement is a necessary part of working to prevent and respond to all forms of GBV by declaring norms deterrent to GBV and FGM and taboo certain practices for a more inclusive community for equal development.
In conclusion, Kenya has taken and will continue to take these steps towards a more equal and GBV free society and nation as a whole and tirelessly work for the progress of all genders in line with SDG number 5 on gender equality and promotion of women and above all upholding of human rights.