Women activists petition assembly to enact laws to end gender violence
Woman activists in Garissa on Thursday held processions through the streets of the town to petition the County Assembly to enact laws that will bring to an end what they termed as increased Gender Based Violence (GBV) targeting women.
Statistics show that Garissa is among the counties that gender based violence targeting women are on the increase. In most cases, such incidents go unreported or are resolved through local mechanisms popularly known as ‘maslah’.
The activists in their petition demanded the county assembly to declare sexual and gender based violence in the county as matter of grave concern.
The procession that ended up at the county assembly presented a written petition that was received by the assembly’s deputy speaker and Waberi MCA ward representative Mohamud Abass.
The lobby groups, who were led by Pastoral Girl Initiative (PGI) Executive Director, Fatuma Kinsi, also included Haki na sharia, refugee consortium of Kenya (RCK), Silver lining Kenya, and womankind Kenya.
In their petition, the lobby groups want the county assembly to pass laws that will deal with culprits of gender based violence.
They also want the assembly to allocate adequate resources to campaigns and programmes that will promote the fight against gender based violence, and the establishment of a recovery center for victims, among others.
The petitioners at the same time want the assembly to pressure the executive to come up with a policy document that will guide in coming up with the relevant laws.
They also want the police to create a hotline number, specifically to be used by victims to report cases, and that the lines should not be used to trace back the caller.
Addressing the women, the deputy speaker promised to present the petition to assembly for consideration, promising to personally take up the matter and ensure that it is given the attention it deserves.
By Kithendu Kinyungu