TVET State Department Developing Policy to Combat GBV in Kenya

Nairobi - The State Department for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in Kenya is actively working on a policy to prevent Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in its institutions across the country.

According to Kenya News Agency, TVET Principal Secretary Dr. Esther Muoria has initiated a committee to draft this policy, aiming to provide guidance for both staff and students in TVET institutions. According to Perpetual Njeru, who read a speech on behalf of Dr. Muoria at a ceremony marking the end of 16 days of activism against GBV at St. Peters Primary School Ishiara, the department is committed to ensuring TVET institutions are safe spaces for skill acquisition.

Dr. Muoria also mentioned plans to modify TVET training, proposing students spend half of their time in educational institutions and the other half in industry. This approach aims to produce graduates with practical, industry-ready skills.

Jane Karimi, the County Executive for Early Childhood Development, highlighted the need to eliminate gender-based violence. She pointed out that GBV adversely affects not only the health of the victims but also inflicts long-lasting trauma on children. Karimi identified economic issues, changing social dynamics due to gender activism, and substance abuse as key factors contributing to GBV in the county.

Embu County, according to Dr. Muoria, is ranked fourth in terms of GBV prevalence. She called for a comprehensive plan to reverse this trend, citing common instances of insults, physical fights, FGM, assaults with weapons, and sexual assaults.

Dr. Fridah Karani, a scholar, urged men to speak out against oppression, highlighting the stigma surrounding male victimization. She pointed to data showing that seven out of ten suicide cases in the county involve men, emphasizing the need for young men to be counseled and encouraged to seek help in difficult situations.

Dr. Karani also called for older men to act as community counselors and not abandon the younger generation. She advocated for a societal reset where older individuals are seen as guides and advisors.

The local NGO Kuza Mama Africa, led by coordinator Anne Muthoni Kirimi, spearheaded the 16-day activism campaign. The NGO successfully reached out to 20,000 women, 1,000 in each ward, educating them on how to prevent GBV and respond to incidents of violence.