AMWIK with the support of Ford Foundation held community forums in Malindi and Garsen towns to sensitize communities on ending gender based violence. AMWIK in collaboration with 10 community groups from the two towns has been implementing a project on strengthening access to information on gender based violence.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign that starts on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level. This year’s theme was ”Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women”.
During the community forums, AMWIK focused on engaging law enforcers in ending violence against women and girls in the the two constituencies which has among the highest rates of sexual violence in the country. The Executive Director Ms. Helen Obande emphasized on the need of law enforcers to work together with the communities and other stakeholders in ending gender based violence. ” Justice to sexual violence victims can only be achieved if the community reports the cases to the law enforcers. The law enforcers should also be proactive in following up the cases so that the community can gain confidence of its law enforcers ultimately increasing reported cases. ” She said.
The Tana Delta Officer in the Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Mr. Robison Thuku called on the men to support women and help in ending violence against women. ” Our culture is more too blame when it comes to gender based violence because of its patriarchal nature. It is because of this that women fear reporting GBV cases for fear of intimidation.” Salome Morowe the Assistant Chief in Garsen demystified the notion that gender issues were a reserve of the women. She challenged the men to rethink the concept of gender and view it from a human rights perspective because that would convenience them on the need to end gender based violence.