CS Margaret Kobia sounds alarm as GBV cases in Kenya continue to spiral

CS Margaret Kobia sounds alarm as GBV cases in Kenya continue to spiral

In Summary

  • The national GBV toll-free helpline -- 1195 -- is available to provide immediate assistance to survivors through tele-counselling and referrals for medical and legal services.
  • Other government-run helplines include the National Police 0800730999 and Child Helpline 116.

CS Margaret Kobia has raised the alarm over cases of GBV cases in Kenya that have continued to spiral during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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According to the Public Service and Gender CS, between January and March 2021, the ministry recorded 877 cases of gender based violence, with a high prevalence in Nairobi, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru and Kiambu counties.

“As Government, we recognise that we cannot win the fight against GBV single handedly therefore, we have to synergise efforts,” Prof. Kobia said on Twitter.

Data from the ministry indicates that in 2020, there were 5,009 GBV cases reported up from 1,411 the previous years with the CS appealing to the public to help complement the government’s efforts to fight the vice.

“We must all stand up against GBV through reporting, supporting victims and we must also discourage harmful and retrogressive cultural beliefs. I call on all Kenyans to be tolerant and to find appropriate ways of solving differences rather than resorting to violence,” she added.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu also condemned the increase in killings of women across the country, saying the recent murder of Catherine Nyokabi in Kasarani adds to the many cases over the last two years which end up being unresolved.

“I am aware that there are many other cases of women who have been murdered in our villages and towns but the cases go unreported,” she said.

According to the Governor, women are being killed at the prime of their life, with young children to look after.

She said it is a national crisis which must be addressed by all leaders, adding that there is need for national conversation on the crisis so that urgent measures are taken.

The Kitui Governor posted a list of women who have been murdered in the past two years:

“Of great concern is the fact that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against women are still walking free and probably killing other women. I am calling on all leaders in Kenya to raise our voices against this dangerous culture of murdering women, which is slowly taking root in our country,” she said.

The Kitui Governor emphasized that murder of any member of society must be condemned, but murder of women — who nurture future generations — must be condemned in the strongest terms.

She said national and county governments must not allow these murders to happen under their watch and urged security agencies to take serious measures to investigate and take action against the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

“I also urge the media to report these cases objectively in a manner that does not victimise the victims. When the media reports possible reasons for the murder such as love triangle, deal gone sour etc, the media is inadvertently justifying these murders and in effect reducing the national outrage of these murders,” she said.

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“Our women must feel secure in their homes, in their businesses, in the universities and in any other areas where they earn their livelihoods. I urge all Kenyans to stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…..‘STOP THE MURDER OF OUR WOMEN’!” Governor Ngilu added.

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Story By Rachel Ombaka
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