Homa Bay County Government has stepped up the fight against gender-based violence with the launch of the County’s Gender-Based Violence(GBV) Policy and Homa Bay County Digital and Innovation Hub.
Through a partnership with Nyanza and Western Women’s Forum (NWWF), the policy framework will comprehensively promote, prevent, protect, and co-ordinate the myriad phases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
“Today we are launching the SGBV policy. You cannot tackle an issue if you dont have a legal backing. That is the foundation which has input from Members of County Assembly and all local and International stakeholders,” said Homa Bay County Governor, Gladys Wanga.
The Governor said Homa Bay County is taking a multi-stakeholder approach including men and security agencies, leveraging on digital innovations and staging national dialogues in elimination of SGBV not only in the county but across Kenya.
“We cannot bury our heads in the sand on issues to do with gender-based violence, teen pregnancies and how women can tackle emerging issues like Climate change. We need to start having a national conversations and explore how digital innovations can help us tackle these,” said Gov Wanga.
The policy seeks to protect women, men, girls and boys against Sexual and Gender Based Violence by addressing issues based on social, political, and economic forms of violence against boys, girls, women. The framework will also ventilate on the mechanisms of addressing these issues.
It emphasizes involvement of the community in every SGBV projects and programs to enhance reintegration of the survivors and perpetrators for family continuity and development.
Implementation of the policy framework will adopt human rights-based, gender responsive and puts emphasis on survivors centered approaches.
It will also adopt public participation, economic empowerment, social mobilisation and Integrative and collaborative approaches.
“This policy gives the county a boost and ability to start official engagement with strategic partners , funds and resource mobilisation drive and the overall direction all stakeholders must follow to see full implementation of the framework,” said Nyanza and Western Women Forum (NWWF)Executive Director, Elizabeth Adongo.
NWWF Founder Harriet Okatch said: “We are mobilising women from the grassroots to start chasing after bigger things socially and economically. therefore we are linking them with local and International partners like the UN Women and Africa Guarantee Fund to power their innivations.”
There is glaring evidence from the National Crimes Research Centre NCRC (2020) that Homa Bay County statistics are above the national threshold of SGBV violations in the Country.
Sexual Assault victims accounts for the highest number of cases reported in the county at 54.5 percent against a national average of 15.7 percent.
Cases of rape accounts for 38.6 percent against a national average of 12.9 percent as Defilement closes the list of top three SGBV cases at 30.1 percent against a national average of 7.1 percent.