By Obegi Malack
Forum for Women in Development, Democracy and Justice (FODDAJ), a Community Based Organization with sponsorship from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) recently conducted a training workshop to sensitize service providers on the need to respond quickly to cases involving sexual violence against Women and Girls.
This training programme was prompted by rising cases of sexual violence against Women and Girls that have been reported in recent months within Kajiado North and Kajiado East Sub Counties.
Participants at the workshop included State officials, officers from security agencies and child protection networks as well as health and media practitioners, and several Non-Governmental Organizations.
This training programme aimed at sensitizing first line responders who handle gender-based violence cases in Kajiado North and East Sub counties, on the need to improve access to vital services for survivors.
It seeks to improve coordination among different service providers by establishing a functional referral pathway.
Ms Nancy Sitima, FODDAJ’s Programme Director said the programmes seeks to address challenges faced by responders who handle gender violence cases affecting women, girls and vulnerable children.
“We should be prepared and equipped with all the information and tools when it comes to dealing with gender-based violence so as to offer protection to the victims,” said Sitima.
Security officials present at the training reported that sexual violence including rape constitutes the highest form of GBV committed against women and girls in the sub county, many of these incidences go unreported because most people do not even know the procedure that should be used to alert the relevant authorities. Delayed reporting of the cases also denies victims’ access to justice.
Ms Sitima pointed out that the boy-child is also becoming vulnerable to sexual violence, hence the need to address this problem. She assured residents that more training workshops on gender-based violence will be conducted in the future in the fight to eliminate gender–based violence in Kajiado County.
Bishop Henry Omae of Restoration of Life Church who is also Kajiado North Child Protection Network Chairperson said the workshop was educative and helpful. “Gender-based violence against Women and Girls is increasing at an alarming rate. We appeal on all stakeholders to increase their efforts in dealing with this problem,” said Bishop Omae.
He noted that Kiserian Police Station has no single female officer on the gender desk and appealed to concerned authorities to address this matter.
Vivian Mboga, Ongata Rongai Division Assistant County Commissioner, disclosed that many cases of gender-based violence go unreported, making it difficult for perpetrators to be arrested and investigations done.
She appealed to FODDAJ to partner with Government for purposes of organizing joint forums and workshops to train the community and its leaders on gender-based violence issues.
Esther Njeri, Kware Assistant Chief said there are many gender-based violence cases within Kware slums and that the training programme was timely. She urged the organization to link up with local administration officers, who are usually the first to receive reports on Gender-Based Violence.
By Obegi Malack