Kenya: Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Seeks Support for Women Facing GBV

22 September 2020

Mombasa County Maendeleo ya Wanawake board members have urged human rights activists and community-based organisations (CBO) to support women from poor backgrounds facing gender-based violence.

The board members said since the emergence of the Covid-19 in the country, there has been an increase in violation of women's rights.

Speaking to the Nation, Ms Millicent Odhiambo, a member of the board, said many women are tolerating violence for lack of knowledge on where to seek help.

"Some women think that getting beaten is normal, they do not see it as a violation of their rights. We need to come together and sensitise women and girls from poor backgrounds about domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence," said Ms Odhiambo.

Safe shelters

She said many women in the slums were suffering in silence because they do not know who to approach. She added that the country has recorded a tremendous increase in defilement cases and GBV since March.

The board member said there is need for local administration officers to be taken through basic counselling skills.

"Chiefs and village elders are the first to be approached in case of defilements, conflict or even domestic violence. So they need to be informed about counselling skills," said Ms Odhiambo.

Another member, Ms Mary Wambo said the CBOs and human rights groups should reach out to people at the grassroots, noting that the rise in gender-based violence in Mombasa and the entire country was as a result of the stress Covid-19 has caused on families.

She emphasised the need to construct safe shelters for women rescued from gender-based violence.

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