What you need to know:
- MasterCard Foundation has partnered with women’s rights groups to address the rising cases of sexual and gender-based violence.
- The foundation will implement a Sh400 million resilience and recovery programme for GBV survivors in ten counties.
- Counties set to benefit include Nairobi, Kiambu, Kakamega, Tharaka Nithi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Busia, Kajiado and Mandera.
MasterCard Foundation has partnered with local women’s rights groups to address the rising cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (Creaw Kenya), Grassroots Organisations Operating Together in Sisterhood (Groots Kenya) and Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development (CCGD) have come up with a programme aimed at supporting survivors of SGBV.
The MasterCard Foundation in partnership with the three organisations will implement a Sh400 million Resilience and Recovery Programme in ten counties.
The counties set to benefit include Nairobi, Kiambu, Kakamega, Tharaka Nithi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Busia, Kajiado and Mandera.
The programme will provide support services to survivors of SGBV such as shelter homes, emergency rescue services for women at risk, psychosocial support like counselling, free legal advisory services, affordable business loans for survivors and in-kind grants.
Speaking during the launch of the programme in Ruiru, Kiambu County last weekend, Groots Kenya executive director Ms Githuku said it is the right of girls and women to live free from violence.
“It is a basic human right yet most vulnerable members of society including women, children, persons living with disability and the elderly are suffering. We have to do everything possible to ensure that sexual violence on women comes down,” she said.
Ms Mary Kinuthia, also from Groots Kenya said the situation on the ground is worrying and action is necessary before things get out of hand.
She decried the emergence of a cultural group in some parts of Kiambu County among them Ndumberi, Kiambaa and Ruiru that is working to promote restoration of Kikuyu culture and traditions among them Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
“We have received information that the group uses economic and political enticements to woo women and girls to consent and mutilate their own bodies. This is against the law and we shall not allow innocent women to be violated,” she said.
Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba said cases of SGBV including defilement and rape are, for example, very rampant in the county yet many are not reported.
“It is very sad to note that sexual violence is very high in the county but is being hidden. FGM is being done secretly on innocent girls and women,” she said.
The MP said there is need to take drastic measures to reduce the rampant sexual violence against girls and women in the county.
Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibe said perpetrators of SGBV must be made to face the law and thereby ensuring victims and survivors get justice.
Kenya according to Kenya Demographic Health Survey, has an estimated 45 per cent of women and girls facing some form of gender-based violence annually.
Chief Justice David Maraga on April 2, released a statement that showed the rise in sexual offences since March 13, when Covid-19 was first confirmed in Kenya.
Mr Maraga said sexual offences constituted 35.8 per cent of cases recorded since then which he termed as a worrying trend.
The cases have continued to rise significantly following the government’s announcement of a containment measure to caution against the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.