Our Twitter handle (@keepnthepromise) has since been abuzz with our recent activity pertaining to the national campaign against GBV. We launched it in Nyeri County on the 8th & 9th of October, 2015 at the Green Hills Hotel. The Ag. CEO, Paul Kuria opened the meeting, reminding those present that the National Gender and Equality Commission is a constitutional commission which was established by an Act of Parliament in August 2011, and is responsible for monitoring, facilitating and advising on the implementation of various international and regional commitments on the issue of gender-based violence (GBV) which affects the rights of women, men and children. Gracing the events were key duty bearers who received the duty bearers handbook and also witnessed the unveiling of the county map which was signed by a representative from the governor’s office. Also endorsed was the county pledge that seeks the sustainability of the campaign’s efforts in Nyeri County.
Additionally, a sensitization exercise uncovered the legal frameworks concerning GBV (such as the Prohibition Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act 2011, Sexual Offences Act, the Protection against Domestic Violence Act 2015) and hammered the roles and the responsibilities of the duty bearers. These efforts hope to instill a tight system towards effective response and prevention to GBV.
Some of the main forms of GBV taking place in Nyeri are: defilement, rape and physical assault. “A recent study by the National Crime Research Centre shows that the estimated lifetime prevalence of GBV was 38% for women and 20.9% for men. The current prevalence of GBV was estimated at 37.7% for women and 48.6% for men showing a considerable increase in vulnerability of GBV among men. And especially so for Nyeri county that has been in the limelight in support of the statistics on male vulnerability,” added Mr. Kuria.
Notable to mention the key duty bearers in attendance were: Mr. Mawira from the County Commissioner’s Office, Beth Karimi, Chief Officer in charge of Gender in Nyeri County, Desderious Orimba from the Judiciary, Njue Njagi of the Administration Police, Victorine Kitoto from the ODPP, representation from the Women Representative Pricillah Nyokabi’s office Ms. Jane Mathenge, E. Nguyo the CEC Member in charge of Education, Dr. Githinji – CEC Member Health & Rita Wahome, the director of the Teachers Service Commission in Nyeri.
In addition to the indoor meetings, we were able to visit the GBV Rescue Center within the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital through Ms. Lydia Njambarah (Health Officer). Faced with the familiar challenges such as under staffing, inadequate funds and equipment management, the rescue center has since shut down and survivors have been forced to rely on the integrated services of the general hospital. The head nurse speaks of the hope of the realization of GBV as a crucial issue in Nyeri, to see the revival of the recovery center.
This engagement would not have been equally possible as it was successful without help from the passionate members of the National GBV Working Group and our partners such as UN Women, GVRC and LVCT Health.
“Please join me in repositioning the image of Nyeri to a GBV free county”, Paul Kuria, Ag. CEO – NGEC.