Tuesday, 8 October 2013

NGO: Higher Rates of Gender Violence in Kenya

A non-governmental organization that advocates for African women in Germany is saying that rates of gender violence are accelerating in both Kenya and the general Diaspora. According to Kenya-based news outlet Capitol News, the activists are concerned that more women are “suffering in silence due to the stigmatization,” and the result is only exacerbated by the lack of accessible legal support. The group is attempting to remedy this situation by arranging to open legal help centers in Kenya for these women.

The article also offered a perspective on one of the many negative results of an experience with violence – the mental health complications. German representative Lars Wilke announced at a conference on the subject that some women are more prone to stress-related illnesses following a violent incident, like high blood pressure. During the conference, titled “Impact of Violence on Women’s Health”, she continued to implore the attendees to use the revelation of this upward trend as a call to action, commenting that “it is imperative that the police and medical practitioners have the know-how to take care of the victims and get them the much-needed help. Furthermore engaging boys and men in the training is to be considered in the prevention of the acts of violence.”

Incidences of violence toward women are not only accelerating in Kenya, but in many countries known for equally poor treatment of women. According to a report from the World Health Organization earlier this year, Africa is first among all other regions of the world in lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence/non-partner sexual violence among women 15 years and older (The Guardian, June 20). Also, seven of the top ten countries “where the risk of sexual violence in conflict was highest” are in Africa.

To read the full World Health Organization report click here.

Contributed by Sabrina Willard

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