WOMEN UNSAFE EVEN IN/UNDER POLICE CUSTODY IN KENYA!
By George Morara
Not too long ago, a woman found refuge in a Nairobi police station. She had been raped and was hoping to get some support to get the perpetrator apprehended. Instead, the officer on duty took advantage of her vulnerability and raped her – as well.
No too long ago, just long enough for Kenyans to forget, The Kenyan president ‘speared headed’ a campaign code named: “HeforShe” in response to a spate of incidents involving stripping of women in urban places who were thought to be scantly dressed by idiots. All in good spirit and the campaign was to last 16 days. Am still counting the days. Am past 300 and a natural death must have happened by day 2 and nobody realised.
Every time I remind Kenyans, what came off the campaign am ridiculed. Well, the president forgot about the thing the moment his head hit the pillow that night. Even those women who were involved in the campaign seem to have walked away only with the slogan: ‘My dress, my choice’!
There hasn’t been any news with regard to prosecutions of perpetrators who terrorised and humiliated the women victims and even the women (non-victims of course), seem to have left that in the distant past.
Nobody seems committed to anymore- other than getting out there, grab, con, take advantage of someone, gain and move on!
This week two weird things have happened in KENYA. A voice clip has emerged of a girl being sexually assaulted. She begs her aggressive molester to let her be because she’s tired. Her pleas fall on a deaf ears as the psychopath carries on anyway.
Kenyan social media is now a wash with jokes about “Mollis” the rapist. People – both men and women are finding those jokes funny as comments to the posts reveal.
Also this week, a FEMALE police officer, stripped a teenage high school girl in search of hidden drugs… Sure enough the girl or may be girls, was/were hiding stuff in intimate places, but it is unfathomable as to why the officer decided to make intimate photographs of the girl and somehow share them?!!!
Just the other day Obama was in KENYA talking about the very subject: how we treat our women! You know all too well how little I regard Obama and he may have been diverting and distracting us from something, but on this he was right.
It seems to me that even our women have accepted to be treated as second class – ‘second class’ seems a class anyway.
The second legislation this new regime passed – after of course a pay rise for MPs, was polygamy. Even the female parliamentarians from the ruling jubilee coalition went along with it. Instead of an outcry, there was an outpour of senseless humour.
The girl-child in our country is a vulnerable species- from early years. In most communities female genital mutilation is socially acceptable and those opposing the barbaric and primitive culture are castigated.
The depressing Early marriages stories of little children has done little to awaken the conscience of our governments.
Less chance for Education as families opt to invest in boys.
Unfair inheritance traditions. Land inheritance in most communities is mainly for sons and NOT daughters.
Dowry demands – the selling of daughters. Often advocated by women many of whom argue the respect her husband accords her is proportional to the number of cows the husband or husbands family paid.
Dowry has been reduced to sheer selfish greed void of anything meaningful other than gain. If love won’t cement a relationship, no amount of cows can.
We are yet to discuss violence at home. One women claimed her husband doesn’t love her anymore because he came home one day and never beat her!
Statistics in Kenya are unclear on domestic violence as many cases go unreported- really only remarkable cases see the light of day.
And then there’s the corrupt riddled justice system that’s totally useless.
Without a serious, committed government we have a long way towards achieving relative safety for our girls and children. I for example would not imagine my little daughters visiting their grandma with their mother and staying overnight! That’d never happen while I am alive. If I cannot guarantee safety for my kids, they won’t be visiting their grandma. And how can anyone guarantee safety for little ones in a culture where women collude in villages to have girls secretly subjected to FGM?!
The only option we have is for all loving parents to teach our sons and daughters that between the genders, they are equal. To give them equal opportunities in education and share of family resources. And that’s while teaching them their appropriate God-given relationship roles as men and women. And to protect our girls at ALL costs. In my case, my children never visiting or staying overnight at their grandma’s. Sadly.
And for the young girl in focus, with her intimate pictures in wide circulation on the Internet, the only way is for the disgusting police officer involved to be prosecuted (she’s going to jail anyway- in my government wishfully)- and proceeds from her property and contribution as a jailbird, to pay for this child’s continued education abroad. How else do you recover this girl’s confidence with her most intimate privacy made public!?
How do we protect our girls and women when the Police are the perpetrators?
About time our “Kusema” government took responsibility and commit to their empty motto: “Kutenda” -get tough on those who circumcise, force-marry, discriminate, rape or abuse our girls and women in anyway.
Our people have a very nasty mentality also- If it doesn’t affect me directly, it’s a non-issue. We forget too quickly. That’s why tribalism and nepotism go unchecked. The truth is, we are all affected in one way or another.
Perhaps you have a daughter, a sister a female relative – even a mother who is vulnerable. If you cannot be the police – the real police and justice system are now part of the abusive gang!
We should be ashamed