This gender-based violence (GBV) in Kenya mostly refers to women and girls being abused but can also refer to men or boys being abused. The problem is mostly in the mentality or perception state more than in the acts itself. How we raise our children treating our women and girls is what will give rise to gender-based violence society. The way a man treats his wife in front of his children determines how the children will be treated and how they look at women and girls.
A brief history of gender-based violence in Kenya
In 70’s and 80’s in 4 out of 5 homes people complained or were faced with gender-based violence. It was normal for a man to beat up his wife and for a brother to beat up his younger sister, for uncle to beat up his niece or his brother’s wife. This norm in modern day is gender-based violence. However, this unacceptable norm is fading away courtesy of government, civil organization and education interventions. This article gives highlights on how Kenyans can eradicate GBV within their communities and even at household level.
How to end GBV in Kenya
Ending and prevention of GBV is personal and collective responsibility. Bearing in mind that this vice may be meted on you, your daughter, your son or even your mother. We must end and prevent this uncouth societal problem. How do we eradicate this?
How to ensure that there will be no gender-based violence will start with parenting. If a man disrespects his wife because he provides, then his children cannot see reasons why women should be respected. It all starts with men respecting women as human beings. It starts with men perception of women as partners not property.
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Civic education maybe in form of holding seminars and unlearning what either gender have learnt for centuries about the other gender. Therefore, calling men for men’s meeting to educate them that women are human beings with feelings, desires, and brains is important. Additionally, by having men conference for men to be taught by men on relevant men issues we can end this vice.
The issues to be looked at include and not limited to their roles in the society. The roles of men in a family setup should be at the top list in the civic education. In addition, we need men role models and also men educators. Our boys need mentorship programs on how to respect women, how to provide for their children, how to protect their women and children.
Addressing mental health issues
Mental health issues cannot be underestimated when addressing gender-based violence. Eradicating gender-based violence should address mental health issues in the society. Although drug abuse is a problem for both men and women, most men are introduced into drugs at early age. You find that most men use drugs of any form like cigarettes, alcohol, bhang etc. those drugs have long time effects on the mental health of our men. We need to have mental health awareness programs for all people including women.
Legal deterrence provisions
Another way to eradicate gender-based violence is strict adherence to the law. If our laws were working gender-based violence would be unheard of. With the high levels of corruption being with law enforcers it’s hard for justice to prevail. In Kenya justice will only be administered if you have lawyers. To be precise the justice is far from reach. Let the government avail justice at zero cost for GBV victims.
Economic empowerment to end gender-based violence
Finally, empowering the vulnerable group of GBV we empower them to desist GBV. Women empowerment and access to employment opportunities will have alternative rather than to remaining in abusive marriages for the sake of provision.