What you need to know:
- The 16 Days of Activism campaign intends to shine a light on the darkness of gender-based violence (GBV).
- This year’s campaign wants us to join the chorus and end violence against women now.
Every year, at a time like this, the world stops for 16 days to join Chemistry teachers in proving that violence isn’t a solution; and to petition those in charge of writing the dictionary that love is supposed to be a verb.
While the 16 Days of Activism campaign intends to shine a light on the darkness of gender-based violence (GBV), this year’s campaign coincides with the entry of Covid-19 in the infamous list of those working overtime to give GBV a booster shot.
Violence of any form is bad. Politically-instigated violence is worse, while GBV is terrible, as it affects the physical health and mental wellbeing of its victims.
Those who eat books for a living are telling us that beating your partner not only breaks their bones but also family bonds, leading to erosion of spousal trust, and the collapse of the institution of marriage.
The family is no longer what it was before. Studies show Covid-19 lockdowns saw married couples spend more time indoors looking for the speck in each other’s eyes, with many forgetting to follow the Bible’s teachings on how to remove it without causing pain.
Speaking against GBV
They didn’t have to interview your favorite church choir to reinforce the point that that drums don’t make those high-pitched sounds because they love the beating, because if they did they wouldn’t wear out and have to be dumped for new ones later.
This year’s campaign wants us to join the chorus and end violence against women now, but they didn’t need to do so because Kenyans are already famous world over for having a loud voice which they aren’t afraid to use.
We defended alcohol when the Health ministry expelled it from restaurants during the Covid-19 lockdown, requested the National Transport and Safety Authority not to go home with the keys to their online portal after working hours, and told Fifa to keep quiet as we cornered the people competing with insects on who can eat Kenyan football the fastest.
The world is asking why we haven’t used the same level of energy to speak against GBV, as they aren’t convinced that our supermarket shelves have run out of glucose.
To help us find our voices from where we lost them, they’ve published a list of the things that are responsible for helping GBV thrive, and the devil is not in the list.
Make GBV a campaign issue
For a long time, men have blamed short skirts for their inability to close their zippers while in the company of women and girls, but they suddenly become experts whenever they check into a public urinal.
While the world is currently busy helping governments stop the Omicron variant from taking us back to the lockdown century, there’s this group of traditional matchmakers who still preoccupy themselves with stopping young girls from going to see a blackboard, and trying out their sharp blades on women’s reproductive organs.
While everyone acknowledges that poverty can drive households into doing anything for survival, marrying off your child before her taste buds are fully developed will cause her to add too much salt in food and you wouldn’t want her to be sued for plotting to kill her new relatives with high blood pressure.
There are many things the Government can do to support GBV survivors, and standing by the roadside isn’t one of them.
Presidential candidates also need to make GBV a campaign issue. It’s in their best interest since no one would want any of their voters to die, because we’ve seen dead voters rise on election day to vote for those who shall relocate them to a new cemetery where they don’t fight each other for sleeping space.
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