Putting the ‘Youth’ in Sexual Gender Based Violence

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This year’s theme for the 16 days of Activism is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All!” Children’s right to education is being violated all over the world because of weak infrastructure. This includes unsafe and unsanitary learning environments, inadequate curricula that are not gender-sensitive and continually being framed within stereotypical patriarchal notions of gender as well as limited resource provision for the delivery of, or access to education. Even as many of the United Nations member states have promised to protect this right.

The right to education has become a universal human right, no matter where you are in the world. A couple of blog post ago we wrote about causes of sexual gender based violence and indeed a lack of proper education was one of the causes. >>https://kituochasheria.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/what-causes-sexual-gender-based-violence/>>

This is why I blog about youth and sexual gender based violence today.

According to the United Nations, youth is the transition period from the dependence of childhood to adulthood. In the Kenya Constitution the rights of vulnerable persons such as women, the elderly, handicapped and the youth have been given recognition and emphasis.In this context, a Kenyan youth is a person between the age of 18-35 years as is common with most of African States.

The extent and nature of specific types of SGBV towards youth varies across cultures, countries, and regions. Some of the more common forms that involve young people include sexual exploitation, forced sex with children, early marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, human trafficking, cross- generational sex, and GBV in schools.

It is clear in the African Youth Charter that each and every state party should acknowledge the need to eliminate discrimination against girls and young women, engage in peer-to-peer education to promote youth development in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention and violence prevention. States should also provide access to information, education and training for young people to learn their rights and responsibilities.

Involving the youth, both the boys and girls in fighting sexual gender based violence has a lasting effect and any effort made in stopping sexual gender based violence. Usually boys and men are the ones who inflict violence against girls and women, talking to them and making them understand that they are different but equal and deserve equal respect is an important step in fighting sexual gender based violence.

Most types of SGBV are carried out under the cover of culture and tradition, and are deeply rooted in communities. Addressing this issue requires engagement with communities as a whole and the youth component in our communities is most times the largest constituency. Addressing and involving the youth in issues SGBV will be akin to addressing communities all at once.

 

By:

Nasibo Abagaro

Advocacy, Governance and Community Partnerships Programme

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