Millions and thousands of years have faded since the conception of earth and yet, empathy accorded to human suffering is not relished by some people, owing to their gender. Gender based violence, whether physical, sexual or psychological, has been exacerbated by normative or cultural expectation.
As such, women have been the major victims of this. According to the Gender Violence Recovery Center (GVRC) report, the female population in Kenya is the most affected with 56% women and 36% girls reported cases. The same report also reveals shocking findings. Between 39% and 47% of Kenyan women experience gender based violence in their lifetime. This is among the highest rates in the world. Whereas men and boys also experience gender based violence in Kenya, it is at very low rates.
Gender Based Violence has been like a social colonization to Kenyan women, depriving them of their liberty and rights. Violence has been adopted as the best dispute resolution mechanism, a way to forcefully obtain something or a means of seeking dominance over the other person. Sadly, little is being done to unravel this.
From inadequate legal framework to infeasible criminal justice system, gender based violence has been elevated to the status of ‘tolerated injustices’. For this puzzle to be solved, less questions needs to be asked and more solutions offered. I reckon two things need to be done; first we should take social responsibility and secondly justice should prevail.
Though our cultural preordained gender roles and responsibility are irregular, we should also respect the differences our sexuality offers. Much emphasis should not be put on equality but justice. Aristotle once noted that, “the greatest form of inequality is trying to make unequal things equal”, painting a picture of why our struggle against gender based violence is proving futile. Equality brings quality, but justice i affirm, neutralizes vices and creates virtue.
Particularly, quashing gender based violence in Kenya requires an overhaul in our statutes and judicial system. More practicable laws need to be enacted to bring this into control. A shake up in our system, which will pave way for the creation of law courts specifically for the gender based violence crimes, is a compelling requirement. As currently constituted, our courts take long to work out cases. Justice delayed, is justice denied. Creation of a Gender Based violence court, with its own tribunal is a convenient and efficient structure than needs to be in place. Legislation or policies that seek to impound the gender based violence should also be enacted.
It starts with amending our constitution, to repeal the women representative positions that have, to the suffering of the tax payers, elevated 47 flower girls to obscure positions. Empowering women means giving value and a sense of entitlement to them. We could, for instance, have statutes that will restrict people of the same gender to hold both the Governor’s and senator’s office. Power and authority comes with respect.
Pushing women to real authoritative positions will build them, after all iron sharpens iron. This drives out the stereotypes and norms that belittle women. It is on record that women in power, in African countries, whether in an acting capacity or elected, have always ensured peaceful transition when defeated or at the end of their terms, unlike their male counter-parts.
We could be missing a trick by counteracting women’s ambitions. This is only to the iron ladies who want to make our country better. For the pointless and lazy feminists, your gender is not your weakness. For Future’s sakes, kindly outdo that misled boilerplate. Life is never about competition. Outgrow yourself and help build a desirable society.