16 days of Activism is here and so are we with some extremely important conversation and questions. According to WHO 1 in every 3 women globally experience gender based violence. The situation is no different in Kenya and mainly Meru county. SGBV is a common phenomenon against women and girls as compared to Men, According to research only 3% are subjected to SGBV. This is not to say men and boys are not subjected to the violence but women are disproportionally affected by the vice. Women who have been poorly educated and economic dependent on their male partners remain more vulnerable with men being the most common perpetrators and this is attributed to unequal power relationships between men and women.
What is the main cause of Gender based violence in Meru county and Kenya at large
- HARMFUL GENDER NORMS- Gender stereotypes and are often used to justify violence against women. Cultural norms often dictate that men are aggressive, controlling, and dominant, while women are docile, subservient, and rely on men as providers. These norms can foster a culture of abuse outright, such as early and forced marriage or female genital mutilation, physical abuse and many more.
- HUNGER- In many families, women take the big role in feeding the family. For the past two years Tigania East and West have experienced unreliable and Erratic rainfall and numerous locust attacks this has led to low yields and in some cases no yields at all, this has led to family conflict and mainly the women being the victims. Just by empowering women will help contribute to eliminating hunger and food scarcity which always exposes women to the violence.
- POVERTY- Covid Crisis, Erratic rainfall, Locust invasions have left most homesteads penniless and depending on the well-wishers for food and basic needs. This has resulted to many men taking advantage of the situation and requesting sexual favors from the women and girls in exchange for the basic needs.
- ILLITERACY- Many SGBV victims are not aware of their right since they are primary or high school dropouts and they do belief gender based violence is a common thing in the society. Lack of information and not knowing where to report and get the necessary information on SGBV has resulted to many keeping quite rather than speaking out on the Vice.
What we aim to achieve after the 16 days of activism
- Distribute 16,000 sanitary pads for girls, young mothers and women within the period.
- Use the media to create awareness on SGBV.
- Involve men and boys in the conversation of Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
- Get Involved in Policymaking against Gender based violence.
- Train and support 20 Young Mothers and Women on income-generating activities such as Tailoring, Hairdressing, Makeup and bead making.