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.
Nasibo Abagaro – AGCP