The Forces Behind #Herlifematters

Article by Maureen Kasuku
Posted: May 31, 2019  

From #TotalShutdownKE to #Endfemicide, a single tweet has the potential to turn into a nationwide movement with women across Kenya uniting in solidarity against femicide  .  The hashtag #Herlifematters lit up twitter yesterday.Women rights lobby groups were behind the hashtag and the vigil held at the University of Nairobi yesterday.

Over the past few months, more than 40 women have lost their lives in acts of gender-based violence. And these are only the cases that have been highlighted by the local media. The stats are grim.

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2014) five percent of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence.

About 4 in 10 every-married women (39pc) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence and slightly less than half (47pc) have experienced at least one of the three forms of spousal violence

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report showed that nearly 70 percent of all women intentionally killed in Africa in 2018 alone were killed by intimate partners or other family members. The report indicated that little progress has been made in preventing such murders.

This wanton abuse of the rights of women and girls is of grave concern . That’s why young women like Feminists in Kenya are among those leading the fight against femicide and gender based violence.

They were one of the organizers of the vigil yesterday at the University of Nairobi that was attended by prominent women leaders from across the country. Participants were dressed in white with a touch of pink.

Nancy Ouya of FIK said they were organizing the vigil to ensure that the lives of Kenyan women are protected and their bodies humanized. ”We are gearing up to transform oppressive power structures that have trickled down to the family level leaving a trail of dead women”.  She said.


*Check out their memorandum of demands that was presented to government officials here


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