The Government on Thursday launched a national policy on the prevention and response to gender-based violence to address the vice in the country.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, who spoke at the event that saw the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign, said the policy ensures the enhanced protection of women's rights and gender equality as enshrined in the Constitution.

"This policy is a key achievement and gives us an opportunity to accelerate efforts towards the elimination of gender-based violence all the way to county level," said Ms Waiguru.

She added that implementation of the document ensured that every Kenyan was assured of a safe and secure environment where human rights were respected and protected.

The launch followed a series of events involving the stripping naked of women by men in public and sexual molestation of others recently.

Speaking at the event held at the University of Nairobi grounds, President Uhuru Kenyatta criticised those who took pictures and videos of the women being stripped, saying they should have been able to prevent the attack. Waiguru said the incidents were beyond barbaric and criminal, and questioned the morality of the current society.

"What kind of society produces men who so nonchalantly undress and humiliate their sisters or even mothers in public? Don't they have mothers and sisters? Aren't these young men their sisters' keepers? What does that say about us as a society?" questioned the CS.

The campaign under the United Nations reaches out to men and boys as advocates of gender equality. It intends to mobilise one billion men and boys as advocates and agents of change in ending the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally over the next 12 months.

"We look forward to having men walk with us through the campaign period and beyond, diligently taking pride in supporting women movements and advancing their empowerment," said Waiguru.

Majority Leader Aden Duale said while the laws and policies were already in place, there was lack of implementation and enforcement.

UN Development Programme Resident Rep Nardos Bekele-Thomas gave an assurance of the UN's commitment to support the Government's policies and programmes on gender equality

Article Source The Standard

Last edited 27 November 2014