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Protests Erupt Across Kenya Against Femicide and Violence Towards Women - 159 Views

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Protests Erupt Across Kenya Against Femicide and Violence Towards Women

In a powerful display of collective outrage, protests have erupted across major cities in Kenya, condemning the alarming rise in femicide and violence against women. Hundreds of demonstrators in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Nyeri, and Lodwar gathered, some carrying placards bearing the names of women who have fallen victim to these heinous crimes.

The demonstrations come in response to a 2022 survey revealing that at least one in three Kenyan women has experienced physical violence at some point in their lives. The recent gruesome murders of women, including the case of Rita Waeni, whose dismembered remains were found in a plastic bag at an Airbnb rental apartment, have intensified calls for urgent action.

“I am here because I’m angry,” said 33-year-old protester Winnie Chelagat. The demonstrations seek to address the systemic issue of femicide, emphasizing that men and boys must take responsibility for their actions and contribute to changing the narrative that places the burden on women and girls to protect themselves.

Amnesty International reports that over 500 cases of femicide were recorded in Kenya between 2016 and 2023, with many victims killed by intimate partners or individuals known to them. Advocates are urging authorities to expedite justice for recent victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

Dozens of local rights groups are calling on the government to declare femicide a national emergency and classify it as a specific crime distinct from murder. In Nairobi, protesters chanted “Sisi ni watu sio wanyama” in Swahili, translating to “we are human beings not animals.” Banners held by demonstrators emphasized messages such as “only weak men kill women” and “every time you blame the victim, you affirm the murderer.”

The prevalence of victim-blaming in online platforms, where commentators question the victims’ actions or choices, highlights the urgent need for societal change in attitudes toward gender-based violence. The protests underscore the demand for justice, accountability, and a concerted effort to end the pervasive culture of violence against women in Kenya.


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