Kenya: cases of femicide on the rise Kenya: cases of femicide on the rise

Kenya: cases of femicide on the rise

Kenya: cases of femicide on the rise

Amid the violent and sometimes horrific and deadly attacks on women in Kenya, Njeri Migwi stands out as a voice for justice.

She is the co-founder of Usikimye, a movement working against the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Real support for the victims.

From the balcony of Usikimye's office, Migwi tells the little story that led to his convictions.

“I found my voice in helping others, because I am a survivor of gender-based violence myself. And in helping others, I healed myself and found my voice,” she said. -she says.

According to Kenyan government reports, nearly 60 women have been killed since the start of 2024.

In protest, Migwi, alongside other feminist and non-governmental groups, organized anti-femicide protests in major cities across Kenya in January against the killings.

Thousands of people participated in this mass action, the largest ever event in the country against sexual and gender-based violence.

But Migwi is dissatisfied because the rate of femicide has continued to increase and every day she sees or treats a new case of violence.

In March, a 19-year-old girl was allegedly pushed to her death from the 20th floor of a building in Nairobi.

Another woman was allegedly killed by her husband shortly after their marriage in Nakuru.

Then, closer to home, Migwi employee Sarah survived a murder attempt for allegedly “dressing like a man.”

"Sarah was dressed in jeans and a hoodie. How can anyone say she dresses like a man? And what does dressing like a man mean anyway? Why do we have gender specific clothing? It’s just clothing,” Migwi said.

She squarely blames social conventions for the normalization of acts of violence, primarily against women, as well as the country's legal structure for its complacency in providing justice to victims and the government for its inaction.

Migwi is, however, energized by the various “hits” and achievements that come from the work she does alongside other people and organizations. Together, they have set up shelters that guarantee victims of sexual and gender-based violence refuge from the violations they suffer.

She recalls a recent encounter with a woman she once helped escape female genital mutilation (FGM), now a supermarket worker, who hugged her gratefully in the aisles while Migwi was shopping.

Sheila Shiyonga, originally from rural central Kenya, now lives and works in Nairobi. She expressed her gratitude to Migwi for his work.

“I met Njeri when I was in Thika through a friend who saved me from excision. My husband and his parents wanted to cut me, but through a friend, he saved me by taking me back to Njeri's house,” Shiyonga said.

Usikimye, which means in Swahili, don't be silent! ", undertakes other activities in the communities, such as feeding programs for children three days a week.

Migwi says "predators lure children" with food, so she feeds them to "make sure she eliminates an excuse for predators to get to these children."

Usikimye also helps find a lawyer and medical assistance for victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

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