Govt urged to scale up efforts to fight GBV in slums » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 23 — The government has been challenged to come up with strategies that will help to minimize cases of gender-based violence in slum areas where women are heavily affected by the vice.

Speaking during the launch of a 16 days activism against gender- based violence in Nairobi’s Mathare slum, the Executive Director of Canada Mathare Education Trust (CME Trust) Executive Director Titus Kuria said that women in the slums are more vulnerable to violence owing to the poor state of living in these areas.

“Statistic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that one in three women suffer from the GBV while one in four men are at the same risk in Kenya. Additionally, data indicates that at least 3000 Kenyans faced GBV in 2022 with 2800 of them being women,” Kuria revealed.

The call comes even as the international 16 days of activism against GBV started this weekend till 10th of December this year, with as governments, lobby groups and humanitarian organisations around the world seek to accelerate actions to end GBV and femicide.

Kuria said that the dire need of tackling GBV in Slum areas can only be achieved if the government would form a working collaboration with community-based organisations that have better understanding of the challenges that slum dwellers encounter and the possible solutions.

“The government has tried to put strategies through the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) but unfortunately, the government is giving a lot of attention to the highly profiled organization yet the community-based organisations have massive knowledge, resources and landscape in the slums,” said the CME Trust Director.

Religious and cultural hurdles

Among challenges that have been identified as an obstacle for winning the fight against GBV, is the religious and cultural beliefs as well as poverty among many Kenyans. This then means that the government should have a collaborative approach that brings on board the religious and cultural leaders, who may play a huge role in minimizing GBV.

Commenting on the issue of equality, Canadian High Commissioner in Kenya Mr. Christopher Thornley said that all people should enjoy equal rights without subjecting either gender to violence.

“This campaign reminds that each one of us deserves to be treated equally regardless of their race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, class, religion belief, sex or language. We are all different and we should embrace the differences and benefit from them,” he emphasized.

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CME Trust Programs Manager Esther Njenga says that the campaign to sensitize the public should also provide information for how those who are affected by GBV in slums should report the cases.

“Many people in slums who have been faced by GBV in slum areas shy from reporting the incidences and therefore it becomes difficult to even gather regular data about the GBV cases.”

The organization has been supporting needy students in Mathare slums as well as supporting the girl child trough a program known as ‘Wezesha Kike’

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