Researches have been conducted and reports are always surreal when you go through them. More than 40% of Kenyan women are likely to face physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and one in five girls still face female genital mutilation (FGM).
Things only grew worse during COVID. A recent survey showed that cases of GBV have quintripled during the pandemic, even capturing global headlines when world record holder Agnes Tirop was found stabbed to death at her home. The fact that the police arrested her husband in connection with the death has brought the subject of domestic violence to the fore in Kenya.
But for every headline case, there are hundreds of other cases taking place in the shadows. GBV is a daily lived reality for women from all walks of life in Kenya and it is for ALL Kenyans that change is needed.
In June 2021, the Government of Kenya made a commitment to end GBV by 2026. Our leaders outlined 12 actions designed to address the environment in which GBV thrives, and to create a structure of law, accountability, financing and resources to prevent and address GBV in Kenya.
Specifically, they committed to:
- Fully implement GBV laws and policies by tracking duty-bearers work to enforce the laws by 2022.
- Invest USD23 million for GBV prevention and response by 2022; and up to USD50 million by 2026 through co-financing.
- Ratify and implement the ILO convention 190 to eliminate GBV and harassment in the workplace by 2026
- Track GBV through the Kenyan Demographic Health Survey
- Develop a GBV management and information system by 2022
- Invest USD 1 million annually for GBV research and innovation by 2026
- Integrate GBV services into the essential package of the UHC by 2022
- Scale up the national police service integrated response to GBV (“Policare”) and establish safe houses in all 47 counties by 2026
- Establish a GBV survivor’s fund
- Commit to GBV prevention and response in crisis situations such as COVID response, humanitarian contexts or electoral-related GBV.
- Strengthen collaboration with non-state actors such as women’s rights organizations, male champions and the private sector.
- Adopt and institutionalize the multisectoral GEF leadership structure.
If we are truly going to end GBV by 2026, there is no time to waste. As citizens we have a role to play. We can make our voices heard. We hope to play our part in urging our leaders to implement the #12actions to #endGBV.
If you or someone you know is experiencing GBV you are not alone. Call the GBV toll-free hotline 1195 today to get healthcare assistance and referrals to legal aid, rescue centers, and counseling.