You probably have a sister, mother, cousin, aunt or friend who has been assaulted either physically or sexually or both, at work, in town or in other social spaces. So let’s have a look at these statistics. The Kenya Bureau of Statistics Economic Survey (2018: 261) indicates that between 2013 – 2017, the number of persons reported to have committed rape were 4,368 while 19, 598 persons committed defilement. The number of persons who committed incest were reported to be 1,323 while the number of persons who committed sodomy were 534. The number of persons who committed indecent assault and abduction were reported as 1,049 and 398 respectively. In addition, according to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) 2014, one in every three women aged between 15 and 49 has undergone a form of violence. The Police Annual Crime Statistics show that on average there are 800 cases of rape, 100 cases of sodomy, 100 cases of incest and 3,000 cases of defilement. This crimes report does not include FGM as well as child marriage cases so the numbers are quite conservative.
As noted in the National Dialogue Report of 2017, many girls and women do not report cases of violations for different reasons, even though Kenya has laws that tackle such cases like the Sexual Offences Act 2006; Anti- FGM Act of 2011 and the Children’s Act 2001. This data highlights the weaknesses in our systems which are supposed to protect women and girls in our country.
This year, the cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) which have come to light in the media include girls being raped in schools, women raped in hospitals, sexual harassment in public service vehicles, online harassment, gang rape, murder and sexual trafficking of women and girls.
Women and girls need to feel safe at home, work, in cyberspace, in places of worship, schools, on the streets, in public service vehicles and any other public and private spaces at all times. Sadly, these cases of violation and assault are perpetrated by men and unfortunately, those close to the women and girls, including friends and even families. This calls for the society’s total involvement in the conversation to end sexual and gender-based violence.
It is against this background that the Women’s Run Kenya has organized a run themed: ‘Run for protection against SGBV.’ The run seeks to create awareness on the prevalence of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and the harm it causes as well as demand for the protection of women and children from all forms of SGBV. The run is premised on the fact that women and children have a right to feel safe in all spaces.
The Women’s Run Kenya is a response to the increasing cases of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) against women and children, which have been witnessed in the country throughout this year. This trend is very worrying and the organizers of the run believe that it is time that action is taken in order prevent such incidents from taking place and protect and support survivors.
The run is scheduled to take place at Uhuru Park on Sunday, 25th November 2018 at 7.00am, which also starts off the #16DaysofActivism against gender-based violence.
The run is open for women and girls and calls for men to support the women in their lives, wives, sisters, mothers and daughters, to participate in the run, by paying for them the Ksh 1,000 registration fee. The run also provides an opportunity to dialogue and find solutions to end SGBV at home, at work and all public and private places.
I am for her, are you?