Recent headlines have brought attention to alleged cases of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), highlighting disturbing scenarios where women have been tragically found dead.
Among the victims featured prominently in the media over the past week are a woman discovered murdered at a short-term residential property in South B, Nairobi, and an unidentified woman whose dismembered body was horrifyingly stashed in a bag in Kasarani. Additionally, two middle-aged women were found dead in Kilifi County and Thika. According to the 2021 homicide statistics by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Kenya recorded 706 cases of femicide.
The similitude of these cases is that the victims are all female, but they are from different cultures and age groups. These femicide cases aired by the media in the past week are not the only ones. There are probably many unreported cases which have occurred but the families have opted to keep them concealed.
The spike in femicide cases in the country also ignited conversations on social media. The upsurge in the use of social media by Kenyans has been accompanied by online misogyny which can be described as a behaviour that portrays a deep contempt for women.
Recently, there has been an upsurge of misogynistic statements, posts and photos on various social media platforms such as X formerly Twitter and Facebook. Most of the time, misogyny tends to be intensified on social media since users are at ease voicing their unwarranted opinions from their gadgets behind anonymous accounts.
Human rights organizations, civil society groups, women on social media, and other stakeholders have strongly condemned these cases. As they urge for immediate action from relevant authorities to address the alarming increase in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country, we need to support such initiatives by raising our voices.
By Mercy Mutwol, AMWIK Member