Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia today welcomed the Professional Criminologists Association of Kenya into the coalition of organizations that have been implementing programs to fight Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
The criminologists’ association brings together professional practitioners who assist in the detection, prevention, and investigation of criminal activities in the country, under the clarion call “Crime must Fall”. Prof Kobia welcomed the association into the fold as she officially launched the Association’s Report on SGBV during the Covid-19 pandemic period titled “Trapped within a lockdown: Understanding Sexual and gender Based Violence During the Covid-19 Period.” The association commissioned the research following His Excellency the President’s call for focused research to inform and address the escalation of SGBV in the country in the recent past.
Professor Kobia noted that the report would not only inform mitigation measures during the Covid-19 pandemic but would also contribute to the general body of knowledge on the causes and effects of SGBV, which would benefit future programs. She commended the association for taking a front seat and being proactive in the fight against SGBV.
Noting the importance of research in informing policies and programs, the Cabinet Secretary called for studies to inform best practices in mitigation, noting that counties such as Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi and Marsabit had recorded low numbers of SGBV. She called on researchers to commission studies on SGBV forms that affect the boy child noting that studies had shown the boy child equally suffered from SGBV. “Our programs to assist and protect the girl child should not leave out the boy child who suffers in a similar manner. Our mitigation programs must not be counter-productive,” she noted.
The Cabinet Secretary also welcomed KIRK Television into the coalition of SGBV fighters and praised them for producing and broadcasting programs that sensitize communities on the negative effects of SGBV. Prof Kobia at the same time asked communities to dialogue and provide community-based solutions to the SGBV problem noting that communal action is needed to return social morality to a society that seems to have slid away from the wishes of God. She noted that the multi-dimensional basis of the problem called for multipronged solutions that address significant factors such as education, customs, beliefs, and socio-economic empowerment of SGBV survivors.
Present at the launch was the Deputy Inspector General of National Police Service Mr Edward Mbugwa, PCAK Association legal advisor Gitobu Imanyara, Gender Secretary Ms Faith Kasiva and Anti FGM Board CEO Bernadette Loloju. The Cabinet Secretary also welcomed Ms Caroline Chepkorir Tegeret the first female lawyer from the Ogiek community, who is a member of PCAK and has committed to serve as an advocate of the FGM campaign in the Ogiek community.