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Kenya On Fire: Thousands Of Citizens Join Protests Against Femicide In Kenya After Rise In Killings - 202 Views

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Kenya On Fire: Thousands Of Citizens Join Protests Against Femicide In Kenya After Rise In Killings

In nationwide demonstrations on Saturday, thousands of Kenyan citizens expressed their collective outcry against femicide, urging an immediate end to gender-based violence in the East African nation.

Protests unfolded not only in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, but also in major cities such as Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri, and Nakuru. Demonstrators passionately called for an end to violence against women and girls, responding to at least 10 reported cases of femicide since January 1, according to Amnesty International Kenya, placing the alarming rise in gender-based violence in the forefront of national attention.

In 2022, health data provider Africa Data Hub recorded 46 femicide deaths in Kenya. Shockingly, by 2023, the number escalated to at least 75, emphasizing the urgency of the issue. Amnesty International Kenya highlighted that, on average, every second day, a woman below the age of 35 has been brutally killed due to her identity, often by intimate partners or individuals known to them.

The organization emphasized that violence must not be normalized, urging society to break its silence and take action against this pervasive issue. The recent high-profile murders of Rita Waeni, 20, and Scarlet Wahu Mwangi, 24, both occurring in Airbnb accommodations, have deeply unsettled the nation. Protesters demanded justice and accountability not only for these victims but also for the numerous other women lost to femicide in recent years.

Authorities have made arrests in connection with these cases, with a man detained in Nairobi for Mwangi’s death and two Nigerian nationals arrested in relation to Waeni’s murder.

Disturbing data from Africa Data Hub and Odipo Dev reveals that between January 2016 and December 2023, at least 500 women have been killed in acts of femicide in Kenya. The comprehensive collection of these incidents points to recurring patterns, suggesting a deeper and systemic issue.

In Nairobi, protesters marched towards the parliament, chanting slogans such as “Stop Killing Us” and “Haki kwa wanawake!” (Justice for Women! in Swahili), bringing traffic to a halt. The Kenyan government, under mounting pressure, has condemned the surge in femicide cases and pledged to take decisive action. The Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA) stressed the need for a thorough, effective, and dedicated investigation into the circumstances surrounding these unfortunate incidents, going beyond merely bringing suspects to justice.

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