Kenya calls for joint efforts to fight gender violence

Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on October 13 during the launch of the Police Service's ender-Based Violence response program

Kenya on Wednesday launched the National Police Service (NPS) Integrated Response to Gender-Based Violence Operational Document (PoliCare), calling for an integrated multi-sectoral approach to tackling the societal challenge of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the country.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said during the launch ceremony that the fight against SGBV will require joint efforts in advocacy and public awareness alongside strict enforcement of the law so that victims feel empowered and safe to report their encounters.

PoliCare is part of the ongoing police service reforms and the new policy seeks to provide one-stop centers countrywide where SGBV victims will find all the help they require.

She reiterated her full backing of the government’s commitment to end all forms of SGBV, saying it will take more than law enforcement for Kenya to fully deal with the retrogressive customs, cultural practices and beliefs that enable the crimes.

The First Lady advised law enforcement agencies to ensure that SGBV victims gain their trust at all times.

In her remarks, Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Margaret Kobia said SGBV was related to poverty and called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to address the underlying enablers of the crimes.