08 November, 2007

Activism Against Gender Violence-Blog Carnival

Black looks .org draws our attention to the 16 days of activism against voilence starting from 25th November, to 10th December 2007 (an inititiative by the Center for Womens Global Leadership now in its 16th year) and invites all African bloggers to participate in a blog carnival sensitizing people against Gender Violence.This two dates coincide with the International Day Against Violence Against Women and International Human Rights Day.The theme for the blog carnival is "Demanding Implementation,Challenging Obstacles:End Violence Against Women"

The theme is quite appropriate and timely as we have seen quite some level of violence(i.e violence aginst Ms Asha Ali an Aspirant for the Dandora Civic Seat, Pollyne Owoko ,Mrs Orie Rogo Manduli,Mrs Flora Igeki Tera amongst many other unreported cases)during this election year in Kenya especially against aspirants seeking parliamentary or civic seats.That is a shame and definately calls upon increased and concentrated efforts against this vice by all stake holders.In this vein i do welcome the formation of Electoral Gender Based Violence Rapid Response Unit(GRRU) an initiative of Education Centre for Women In Democracy and other stake holders .The efficacy of the unit is yet to be ascertained as it may be severely limited without political goodwill and immediate and rapid assistance by the police and other relevant authorities.

There is quite an increase in the presence of activist groups in Kenya advocating against Gender violence such as COVAW (Coalition Against Violence Against Women),FIDA, FEMNET...etc.But they have a scanty presence in the blogosphere and cyber space.Perhaps this would be an opportune to them to increase their activity.I do agree that sub saharan africa has very few people with access to the internet.But yet the power of activism vide the internet cannot be down played especially in directing international attention and resources towards fighting repriesive practices against the African Girl Child and women such as Female Genital Mutilation, domestic abuse, gender violence,spousal rape etc. It is important to note that many Africans have migrated within the diaspora and would like to now synergise their efforts with local communities to fight some negative vices that they left back home.The blogosphere is a facilitative forum for their efforts and also for other well wishers.

I earnestly urge all Kenyan bloggers to take this opportune period to actively participate in voicing their disapeal against gender violence and use this period as a launching pad towards better and equitable treatment of women and children as they are the backbone of society.In response to the call,i intend to take a comprehensive look at the various legal instruments currently in force in Kenya that tend towards protection and prosecution of gender violence with specific reference to women and the Girl Child!Watch the space!

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