Radio talk show @ Ghetto Radio this past Saturday

This Saturday (28th of November) Jackie from Grace Agenda and Elisabeth Atieno held a radio talk show at Ghetto Radio. For those who don´t know who/what Grace Agenda is: it is a community based organization established after the 2007/2008 post-election violence and is comprised of survivors who had children out of the rapes during the post-election violence. It is a very important organization and we are proud to cooperate with them.

Discussion was guided by DJ Double Trouble and supported by Garrang and Eddy. Defined the Meaning of GBV and what it means to the common mwananchi and its various forms.

Later they discussed the healing of rape survivors and the hard path of self-reflection towards the same. The rapist can for a long time have power over you so long as you keep memories of pain and unforgiveness within. Lastly they gave information about the Police Vetting Process and how survivors were able to participate by filing in complaints forms and identifying errant officers and Police stations, and our recommendations, structural and social to address the same.

The subject is tough but so important to talk about, we need to bring SGBV out from the private sphere to the public.  Thank you Jackie and Elisabeth for the radio talk show!

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P.S Don´t worry, we have planned for more radio talk shows to come.

What did you guys think about the show? comment below!

By:

Christina Malmgren – AGCP

How sexual gender based violence manifest itself in Kenya

Every 30 minutes a women is being raped in Kenya. Around 50 % of Kenyan women will experience sexual gender based violence (SGBV) during their lifetime. Reality is that it´s on the rise, each day it takes on new dimensions.

SGBV includes sexual abuse of children (defilement), partner battering which is common in central Kenya, trafficking of women and children; dowry related violence, sexual harassment, forced prostitution, rape, female genital mutilation and harmful traditional practices such as early marriages and forced wife inheritance which is common with Samburu and most pastoral communities in Kenya and among others. These practices demine the fundamental freedoms and rights of women and girls. Various cultures view the female as equal to male and women are depicted as house wives; their sole responsibility being to give birth and take care of the house.

In  Kenya it is viewed that sex as a private affair and should never be discussed in public, it develops a social stigma, victims blame themselves and fear that they will be ostracized from society if they admit to having been sexually abused.

There’s a need to analyse violence beyond women’s individual experiences, but the systems and norms that promote and perpetuate violence against women especially in our societies to fully understand how SGBV manifests itself.

By:

Nasibo Abagaro – AGCP

Radio talk show on laws that protect women against SGBV

Listen to Radio Jambo today at 2-3 PM! Kituo´s Legal officer Ashioya Biko and representative for Voice of Disability, Syprose Ajuma will be talking about laws that protect women against sexual gender based violence.

You can listen online through this link:

http://www.kenyamoja.com/radioplayer/radiojambo.php

P.S Keep spreading awareness on SGBV with our #IamAware challenge! Upload a Facebook update, Twitter, Ínstagram or a short videos where you say a fact about SGBV.

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By:

Christina Malmgren

Kituo cha Sheria – AGCP

 

Impacts of sexual gender based violence

“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace”- Former Secretary General Kofi Annan

 

Sexual gender based violence is a harmful act that has a grave impact on the victim/survivors life. SGBV seriously affects all aspects of a victim/survivors health physical, sexual and reproductive, mental and behavioral health. Health consequences may be both, immediate or long lasting and chronic. This means that negative health consequences may affect the victim/survivor long after the violence has stopped.

The physical consequences of SGBV are injuries, functional impairment and permanent disabilities. Someone that is exposed to SGBV often get psychical mark. For example: bruises, wounds, red marks around the neck, scratch marks and broken bones. Victims/survivors of SGBV are also more exposed to HIV, in sub-Saharan Africa women are disproportionately at risk of both SGBV and HIV infection. Between 39 and 47% of Kenyan women experience SGBV in their lifetime- among the highest rates in the world.

The psychological consequences of SGBV may be post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, fears, sleeping disorders, panic disorders, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and suicidal tendencies. SGBV has a serious impact on a person´s mental health. Often victims are faced with issues of low self-confidence and self-esteem, anxiety, stress. The person doesn’t believe in themselves and have a distorted image of themselves. The person may become more anxious and nervous, one main reason usually because they are afraid of their abuser.

In case of violence against children the impacts can be physical, psychological and sexual health. Studies have shown that children that witness intimate partner violence against their mothers even when the child is not physically targeted, has a negative impact socially. Health consequences for children include anxiety, depression, poor school performance and negative health outcomes.

By:

Christina Malmgren – AGCP

 

 

What causes sexual gender based violence?

In our quest to understand sexual gender based violence (SGBV) we have to look at the causes. We are now aware that SGBV can manifest itself in isolated acts or systematic patterns of violence, it is not caused by a single factor.The cause of SGBV is a combination of several factors on different levels. There is a so called “ecological framework” that distinguishes factors at four levels: the individual, the relationship, the community, and the structural level.

  1. The individual-level factors are biological and personal history factors that may increase the risk of violence. For example, often young girls with low education and of low economic status are at risk of being victims of SGBV. This also applies to men with low income and education. An individual’s past experience such as exposure to sexual abuse or intra parental violence during his/her childhood may increase risks of violence in future relationships.
  2. Relationship- level factors for example family responses to sexual violence that blame the women and concentrate on restoring a lost family honor, rather than blaming the men may end up creating an environment in which rape can occur with impunity.
  3. Community-level factors are to which extent of tolerance towards SGBV is within social relationships, such as in schools, at the work place or neighborhood. It has been found that when a community together puts in place sanctions against violence, or pose moral pressure on the community to intervene they have the lowest level of intimate partner and sexual violence. Although SGBV manifests itself across all socio-economic groups, it is the poor and vulnerable women that are affected the most by SGBV.
  4. Society-level factors are the cultural and societal norms that shape the gender roles and the power relation between men and women. Traditional attitudes towards women around the world help perpetuate this violence. Stereotypical roles in which women are seen as subordinate to men especially constrain a woman’s ability to exercise choices that would enable her end the abuse.

In Conclusion, with the ecological framework you can distinguish the different factors that contribute to SGBV in the levels. We may use this to see how too tackle the issue of SGBV, and how you can counter the issue in the different levels. For example just by being aware of different traditional attitudes towards women and realize how they can translate to violence is important or realize that women in poverty need more support and security when it comes to SGBV.

By:

Christina Malmgren – AGCP

 

Radio talk show @ Ghetto Radio tomorrow, 8-9AM

Tune in to Ghetto Radio tomorrow morning at 8-9am! Our very own program coordinator for Kituo cha Sheria´s advocacy, governance and community programme Aimee Ongeso and Jaqueline Namuye Mutere, founder of grace agenda will be addressing myths and misconceptions about sexual gender based violence. We promise that they will set the record straight and put on a very interesting talk show.

Listen at 89.5 FM or online by following the link:

http://ghettoradio.co.ke/

http://archived.thisisafrica.me/tiaplayer/popup/index?stream=ghetto

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By:

Christina Malmgren

Kituo cha Sheria – AGCP

Forms of Sexual Gender Based Violence

Sexual gender based violence has many forms, but there are four distinguished types:

  1. Sexual violence
  2. Physical violence
  3. Emotional violence
  4. Economic violence

Sexual violence is a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent. It has many forms and can manifest itself under different circumstances. It can happen at home, school, workplace or open space. There can be one perpetrator or many, when it’s many perpetrators it’s called gang rape. Examples of sexual violence are: sexual slavery, sexual harassment, trafficking, forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM), marital rape, virginity tests and incest.

Physical violence is a deliberate use of physical force with the potential for causing harm. It include spitting, scratching, biting, grabbing, shaking, shoving, pushing,restraining, throwing, twisting, slapping (with open or closed hand), punching, choking,burning, and/or use of weapons (e.g., household objects, knives, guns) against the victim. The physical assaults may or may not cause injuries.

Emotional violence also known as psychological violence, characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, anxiety. For example your partner is telling you that one day he or she will kill you, but never acts physically aggressive. That is a case of emotional violence. This form is the hardest to define because it doesn’t leave any physical marks. Although it doesn’t mean that it is not a serious form. For example if you have a friend who is being emotionally abused by his or her spouse it can be a case of emotional violence and is important to recognize.

Economic violence is when perpetrators are controlling access to all of the family resources: time, transportation, food, clothing, shelter, insurance, and money. He or she may actively resist the victim of becoming financially self-sufficient as a way to maintain power and control. When the victim leaves the battering relationship, the perpetrator may use economics as a way to maintain control or force he or her to return: refusing to pay bills, instituting legal procedures costly to the victim, destroying assets in which she has a share, or refusing to work “on the books” where there would be legal access to his income. All of these tactics may be used regardless of the economic class of the family.

Besides these four form there is also domestic violence, usually when writing about the forms of SGBV you do not list domestic violence because it manifests itself in the different categories. Most often the domestic violence consists of different kinds of violence that are physical psychological, and economical. Most often it’s difficult to notice domestic violence since it’s something that grows during a longer period of time

A portrayal of domestic violence: “The Burning Bed” (1984)

“The Burning Bed” was premiered in 1984 in the United States, it got a lot of attention because it was the first movie made about domestic violence. The lead actress Farrah Fawcett was known for playing romantic roles, for the American society to see her portray a domestic violence victim was shocking. The movie portrays domestic violence in a realistic and heart breaking way.

Click on this link to read more about the movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087010/

By:

Christina Malmgren – AGCP

Gender and Kenya

If I ask: “what is gender?” the general answer would be that gender is the definition of being a male or female. But is much more complex. When you define gender it is important to make the distinction between sex and gender. Sex is something we are born with,it’s a biological state. Gender is a social construction, meaning that it is something that society forms the way we look at males or females. Gender is constructed by expectations from the society, something that is “typical male or female” in one society may vary from another.

The traditional expectations of female/male roles are deeply ingrained and glorified in all Kenyan languages, in education, the mass media, and advertising. The society’s perception of women is for the most part negative with the best women as mothers, and their capabilities and capacities going virtually unnoticed.

As a woman they were taught that it was their role to nurture, and to be free from the burden of being the “breadwinner”. While on the other side men were taught of roles such as to be served, to provide, to be strong, to think, strategize and plan, and to refuse to care take or nurture others. Women were taught that it was not proper for a female to be violent, that it was unnatural. While men were taught that their value would be determined by their will to do violence. All these which women are socialized to from childhood makes them to accept things the way they are as it wasn’t anything new.

 

Traditional cultural practices reflect the values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs some of which are beneficial to all members, while others have become harmful to a specific group, such as women.

 

Patriarchy is an example of a system that benefits men and is a disadvantage to the women.  It grants power to men and oppresses women through political, social and economic institutions. Patriarchy is a system of male domination that shapes women’s relationship in all spheres of life. It transforms male and female into men and women and constructs the hierarchy of gender relations where men are privileged. Patriarchy is evident in all cultures in Africa not limited to Kenya. Kenya practices patriarchal system of socialization where women are seen not to have a say and are always seen to command domestic duties as well as the majority of agricultural cultivation. The subordinate status of women vis-à-vis men is a universal phenomenon, though with a difference in the nature and extent of subordination across cultures.

Such sex stereotypes and social prejudices are inappropriate in the present society where female/male roles and male-headed families are no longer the norm. Sex stereotypes are among the most firmly entrenched obstacles to the elimination of discrimination as well as violence against women.

 

By:

Nasibo Abagaro – AGCP

Gender Equality

In 1791 a women in France wrote the following:

“Man, are you capable of being just? It is a woman who poses the question; you will not deprive her of that right at least. Tell me, what gives you sovereign empire to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents?”

Her name was Olympe the Gouge and the paragraph is from her famous Declaration of the Rights of Women and Female Citizen. She made the declaration to counter to the Declaration of the rights of Men and French Citizen which limited french citizenship only to males. She was an activist fighting for women’s rights. In fact she´s one of many women that has been fighting for the dream on gender equality over the centuries. What Olympe the Gouge did, she simply asked why men think they have the right to oppress her because of her sex. And that is a question I ask myself every time I´m treated differently because I am a women.

We have come a long way since 1791, but we are no way near the destination that is; gender equality. To get to this destination we all need to act together, men and women.

I´m asking you to take 12 minutes of your personal time to watch this speech down below made by Emma Watson in the General Assembly where she is addressing the issue of gender inequality.

By:

Christina Malmgren – AGCP

What is Sexual Gender Based Violence?

“Gender-based violence (GBV) is the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with each gender, along with the unequal power relationships between the two genders, within the context of a specific society.” (Bloom 2008, p14).

Gender-based violence refers to violence that target individuals on the basis of their gender. The act itself include physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, the threat of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty. Gender-based violence is considered to be any harmful act directed against individuals or groups of individuals on the basis of their gender. It may include sexual violence, domestic violence, trafficking, forced/early marriage and harmful traditional practices.

Usually when talking about SGBV it is focused on violence against women, this does not mean that all gender-based violence victims are female and that a male cannot be affected. Although violence disproportionately affects the members of one sex more than another. It’s estimated that worldwide one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines the victim’s dignity, health, security and autonomy. Victims may suffer from forced or unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic, sexually transmitted diseases and even death.

This is a general explanation of sexual gender based violence, we will in this blog write about the following during the 16 days of activism:

  • What is SGBV : An introduction to SGBV ( forms of SGBV)
  • How SGBV manifest itself in Kenya : Discussion on Gender and tradition in Kenya
  • Legal Frameworks – International and National
  • Reporting SGBV
  • What to do when you have been raped
  • Strategies in addressing SGBV issues
  • Taking a stand against SGBV

Tomorrow you can read about gender: what gender is and gender in the Kenyan context.

And lastly, don’t forget our #IamAware social media challenge! Keep on posting.

By:

Christina Malmgren

Kituo cha Sheria -AGCP