Kenyatta Blames Covid-19 on Increase on Gender Violence

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has decried the rising cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Africa.

He spoke at a panel discussion during the opening session of the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) in France, saying the GBV situation had reached global emergency levels

GEF is a global gender equality gathering convened by United Nations (UN) Women and co-hosted by Mexico and France.

According to President Kenyatta, the pandemic exacerbated the already dire global GBV situation.

“Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation and turned Gender-Based Violence into a global emergency. Emerging data indicates a surge of at least 25 percent in violence against women around the world,” Uhuru said.

He further noted that GBV is a global challenge affecting over 36 percent of women aged between 15 and 49 years and pointed out that Africa had recorded a spike in gender-related violence in the last year.

According to the President, Cameroon (35%), South Africa (37%), Central African Republic (50%), Liberia (50%), and Kenya (50%) had recorded some of the highest increases or GBV in the African continent in the last twelve months.

Uhuru again reiterated Kenya’s commitment to ending all forms of GBV by the year 2030 saying, the country will continue tightening its anti-GBV policies by adopting relevant international treaties including the ILO Convention 190.

“Kenya has made significant progress in addressing Gender-Based Violence. I have made a personal commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation during my tenure and to end all forms of Gender-Based Violence by 2030 as envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

He said Kenya will invest over 23 million USD in GBV prevention programmes by 2022, and increase budgetary allocation to 50 million USD by 2026. The investment will include an annual 1 million USD research fund and a GBV survivors kitty.

During the panel discussion, Uhuru announced Kenya’s elaborate plans to introduce data supported policies in its anti-GBV efforts including a specific module in next year’s annual demographic health survey, roll out of an electronic information management system, and integration of GBV in the country’s ambitious universal health coverage program.

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