Nairobi, 1st November 2021
Nairobi City County acting Governor H.E Ann Kananu Mwenda has today signed into law the Sexual Gender Based Violence ( SGBV) Bill at City Hall Nairobi.
The bill seeks to establish an interconnected reporting and referral system that will guide survivors on where to seek help. It’s overall role is to accelerate efforts towards the elimination of all forms of GBV in Nairobi County and ensure perpetrators are severely punished.
The signing was witnessed by Hon. Rachel Shebesh, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender, Hon. Esther Passaris, Nairobi Women Representative ,Hon. Geoffrey Majiwa, Deputy Speaker Nairobi County Assembly, Members of County Assembly, the County Executive Committee Members and representatives of Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
Ms. Kananu said that Kenya has made major strides in developing legislative frameworks on response, prevention and management of of SGBV.
Said Ms. Kananu, “The new law, will build on the ongoing efforts by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to create a gender equal society post COVID-19″.
The law also proposes that the County government establishes safe houses in at least one of the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi to guarantee the safety of victims while their cases are being prosecuted, ensuring budgetary allocation for the facilities as well as witness protection programme.
The law also requires establishment of facilities and infrastructure necessary for GBV responses at the County level and Collection of aggregate information on prevention, occurrence, responses related to GBV
Said Ms. Kananu,” This law will ensure essential services are available to victims of SGBV as a matter of right. In the past there was no dedicated body to address the complexities of SGBV; no obligation to provide extensive education; no safe houses or shelters; no specific budget; and basic healthcare services were inaccessible or unavailable to victims.
Added Ms. Kananu, “It is worth noting that GBV affects women, girls, men and boys, however, women have been found to be disproportionately affected by GBV. This has a direct correlation between women’s subordinate status in society and their greater susceptibility to violence. GBV has serious and far-reaching negative effects including physical injuries resulting in death or disfigurement, psychological trauma, infection with HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, social stigmatization and exclusion and economic deprivation among others”.
Ms. Kananu thanked non state actors like the Coalition of Violence Against women(COVAW), UN Women and other human rights organizations for their tireless work towards the advancement of women’s rights; and achieving a society free from all forms of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Ms. Kananu also acknowledged the continuous key role played by these organizations in implementing initiatives towards elimination of Gender Based Violence.
Ms. Kananu lauded nominated Member of County Assembly, Hon. Wanjiru Kariuki, who was the sponsor of the bill. She assured her support towards the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Nairobi county women Representative. Hon. Esther Passaris mentioned that her office in partnership with Nairobi County Government and the NMS are working together to put up a Safehouse in Nairobi .
The three partners are set to sign a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the safehouse to commence.
Hon. Rachel Shebesh appealed to the county government for sufficient allocation of resources for gender issues. Shebesh assured that the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender will support the implementation the GBV bill.
Some of the key highlights of this law will include;
the promotion of public awareness on causes, impact, consequences and means of preventing SGBV in Nairobi County.
At the same time, Ms. Kananu assured KRA that the county has committed to pay the accrued debt of Kshs. 2.6 billion as agreed by the two institutions. She said the county has so far paid Kshs 1.5 billion to KRA.
H.E Kananu also urged students allover the country to remain calm and find ways of airing their grievances and avoid destruction of properties. She also called on parents to counsel their children and try to understand their grievances.