Women in Kenya are going through a blizzard of violence taking place in the nation. The start of the year accelerated the brutal killings of women in Kenya by a criminal ring. Criminal groups who are active in the country, prey on women, especially juveniles, through dating sites. This has led to widespread nationwide outrage, primarily by feminist groups. Last year, the country reported the highest number of femicide killings, the number going up to 152 women. This issue is deeply etched in many parts of the continent itself, leading to escalated crime against women. This was the recorded number; the actual numbers could be higher and scarier.
The first month of the year saw more than 4 killings, and this had taken a toll on the public. The organisation Femicide Count Kenya, which came into existence in 2019, reported heinous acts like rapes, strangulation, mutilation, and setting women on fire. The issues fetched the limelight not only through the feminist organisations prevalent in the vicinity but also through social media. Hashtags against femicide have engulfed various social networking sites. Individuals have congregated to spread awareness on the web with hashtags like #StopKillingWomen #EndFemicideKe. The women’s movement, ‘Feminists in Kenya’ actively followed the matter and posted about it on X. They wrote, “It’s crucial to emphasise that within a culture marked by constant threats of violence, women already take numerous steps for their safety. Yet, even with these efforts, violence persists. The core problem lies not in women failing to keep safe, but in men perpetrating violence.” The notion put forth the fact that society was blaming women for not exercising precautions for their safety.
Advisories that circulated information suggested that females should stay guarded and practice self-defence to protect themselves. Victim blaming is a common practice and misogyny reigns supreme around this movement. The prime reason that has surfaced is the indolent demeanour of the government. Feminists in Kenya brought up the unacceptable acts of the Kenyan government, especially the President. Kenya is a part of an international convention that stands against any violence on the lines of gender. Yet the promises seem bleak, as femicide sits at the apex, taking the lives of women in the nation.
The protestors are seeking immediate accountability and action on the part of the government. Groups working for women’s rights, non-governmental organisations, and centres for rights and education congregated to urge urgent interrogation of the matter. Rampage could be seen at the nooks and corners of the country, as women suffocate for their lives. It is high time that the public and government join hands to dissolve the trepidation caused by femicide solemnly.
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