Margaret Kobia, the Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, has raised alarm over the sharp rise in gender-based violence cases amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement shared on Twitter, the CS said data at the ministry’s disposal show that 5009 GBV cases were reported in 2020 up from 1411 in 2019.
Kobia went on to reveal that between January and March 2021 the country has recorded 877 cases with a high prevalence in Nairobi, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru and Kiambu Counties.
2. Between January and March 2021 we have already recorded 877 cases with a high prevalence in Nairobi, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru and Kiambu Counties.
As Government, we recognise that we cannot win the fight against GBV single handedly therefore, we have to synergize efforts.
— Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH (@CSMargaretKobia) April 20, 2021
To end the violence, the CS noted that there is a need for Kenyans to join forces with the government to deal with the menace that is destroying homes.
“As Government, we recognise that we cannot win the fight against GBV single-handedly therefore, we have to synergize efforts,” she said on Tuesday night.
“We are appealing to the public to help complement the Government’s efforts to fight GBV. We must all stand up against GBV through reporting, supporting victims and we must also discourage harmful and retrogressive cultural beliefs.”
She called on Kenyans to be tolerant and to find appropriate ways of solving differences rather than resorting to violence.
“National GBV Toll-free Helpline 1195 is available to provide immediate assistance to survivors through tele-counseling and referrals for medical and legal services. Other government run helplines include National Police Helpline – 0800730999 and Child Helpline -116,” Kobia added.
Stress linked to loss of jobs and the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 has been attributed to the rising domestic violence cases.
The number of murder cases being reported continues to rise by the day.
The most recent case is that of Kiambu businessman Evans Karani who confessed to killing lover, 24-year-old Catherine Nyokabi over alleged infidelity.
In his confession, Karani told investigators that he had dated the deceased, a mother of one, for at least four years but she was allegedly unfaithful to him.
The two reportedly split and while Nyokabi moved on, Karani was not pleased and opted to take her life.
Yesterday, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga weighed in on the issue urging couples to walk away instead of resorting to violence when such differences arise.
He called for nationwide discussions on gender-based violence stating that the recent media reports on murders and spousal killings have become too much.
“It is unfortunate that after winning their partner’s heart, instead of going on to cherish and love them, some suddenly turn physical, and at times horrifically end up killing them. Too many lives are being lost on an almost daily basis going by media reports,” he wrote on Twitter.
“This scourge must come to an end. The abnormality of these murders cannot become the normal No! If you cannot reconcile, then, leave and let live. We need an urgent candid discussion on #GenderBasedViolence as a Nation,” he added.
In July last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta raised concerns over the “increasing tensions within (our) homes.”
The President ordered the National Crime Research Centre to probe the escalating cases of gender-based violence and violation of children’s rights.
The head of state also warned that mental health issues had worsened as well as cases of teen pregnancies.