Addis Ababa, the alarming increase in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases in Murang'a County, Kenya, calls for immediate intervention from stakeholders and organizations. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) released a Demographic and Health Survey 2022 report revealing that 54% of women aged 15 to 49 in Murang'a have experienced physical violence, significantly higher than the national average of 34%.
According to Kenya News Agency, 43% of women who experienced physical, sexual, and psychological violence reported their husband or intimate partner as the perpetrator, emphasizing that most GBV cases occur at a domestic level.
Lillian Wanjiku, Murang'a County Statistics Officer, highlighted the gravity of the situation during the county-level dissemination of the survey. In 2022, 22% of women aged 15 to 49 in Murang'a faced physical violence, compared to the national figure of 16%. Additionally, the rate of women experiencing sexual violence in Murang'a stood at 24%, almost double the national rate of 13%.
"These figures indicate a pressing need for measures to address and reduce gender-based violence, particularly against women," Wanjiku stated. She pointed out that in 2022, the rate of women experiencing sexual violence in Murang'a was 14%, compared to 7% nationally.
The survey's findings were released coinciding with the global 16 days of activism against sexual and gender-based violence, running from November 25 to December 10.
In a related development, the Association of Women Judges, Mount Kenya chapter, visited women convicts in Murang'a prisons. Led by Justice Cecilia Gathua, the judges are devising strategies to eliminate factors contributing to GBV in the community.
Gathua acknowledged that gender stereotypes and cultural norms are among the major factors fueling family and community violence. The association is committed to educating and enlightening women about their rights and the legal recourse available when they face violence.
The women judges plan to visit various women's prisons, offering support and education on combating gender-based violence. Their efforts are part of a broader initiative to address the rising GBV cases in Murang'a County and empower women to seek justice.