Sexual Gender-Based Violence perpetrators will face harsh penalties if the proposed gender-based bill becomes law.
While meeting Kwale county stakeholders for human rights and Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Kwale CEC for Social Services and Talent Management, Francisca Kilonzo, discussed a number of issues including how to push the proposed gender-based bill into law.
Kilonzo, who held a meeting with Sauti ya Wanawake Organization, said the proposed bill is already at the Kwale County Assembly.
CEC Kilonzo said that they had already held a meeting with Gender and Special Interest Committee Chair Rachael Mutisya and plans were underway to make sure that the proposed bill meets all requirements to become law.
“The county government is working with various stakeholders led by Sauti ya Wanawake Organization to tackle violation of human rights by making sure perpetrators are held into account,” said CEC Kilonzo.
In a phone call, Gender and Special Interest Committee Chair Rachael Mutisya confirmed that the Committee had already gone through the bill and is awaiting its gazettement.
‘‘The bill will create awareness around the importance of opening safe houses, and rescue centers and actually generate confidence towards fighting the gender violation perpetrators. We are working with the Executive to ensure the bill meets the procedure to become a law,’’ she added.
Mutisya said that after gazettement, the bill will pass through other stages including public participation before it becomes law.
During the meeting, Violet Muthiga, Sauti ya Wanawake Organization Managing Director, said records from the health department show that there are more than 19,000 cases of early pregnancies reported in the county.
‘‘We are working with the national and county government to make sure the number of cases reduces and finally end,’’ she added.
Nelly Amoite, Director of Gender, Kwale County, said that as much as there is a law at the national government level, there was a need for county governments to also have their own laws in order to curb the vice.
A report from the Kenya Health Information System (KHIS) shows that in Kwale County SGBV is highest at, 92 percent, against women with 73 percent suffering physical and/or emotional violence.
In the report, the county recorded 182 rape survivors in the period between October 2021 to May 2022 with the highest number, at 71, being recorded in Matuga sub-county.