She keeps everybody worried, anxious and uncertain because it is not known what will happen to her next that might have a threatening impact on her life. A female faces much harassment, assault and insecurity in her daily life. A young girl is scared of female genital mutilation (FGM), rape, early planned marriages and unwanted pregnancies.
When she takes long to come home, things stand still as no one knows what may happen to her. As time ticks by, parents start wondering could she have been waylaid on the way. Might she be raped? Beaten, kidnapped or killed? That’s what a female stands for in this patriarchal community.
All over the world girls and women are being raped daily; those unlucky get killed in the process. Females are not safe, even where they are supposed to enjoy safety, peace and tranquility; they get assaulted by a close relative, guardian, neighbor, teacher, or a caretaker. When there is war, the soldiers think it’s their right to rape girls and women. They leave the sisterhood with permanent scars.
A young woman, sacrifices her time, money and life to go to a disadvantaged community to help and empower the community, what the men in the community do is to kidnap her and cause trauma, worry and uncertainty to her and those who love and care about her in return of her kindness.
A single mother has no peace as the community looks at her like a misplaced human unlike a single father. She is excluded from the inner circle of her married female friends while men think that she is easily available to them. Her children pester her on why their family is not like their friends families. She goes through trauma and psychological violence as she tries to fit in society.
A wife at home goes an extra mile to delight, serve and ensure that her husband is well taken care of. What the husband does in return is to look for flimsy reasons to accuse her, beat her, violent her rights inflicting her with injuries, permanent disability or death. The reasons for the violence could be as silly as a man wanting to marry another wife and wants to get a way of making his current wife leave.
In social places and during celebrations, women are at risk of being molested, assaulted, harassed and raped.
Our world has made it look like being female is a curse because you are uncertain of what will happen to you.
If the world would be free of violence against women, we would live so peacefully, love would abound, there would be great prosperity and plenty of resources and things to share among ourselves. We would look at each other as sister and brother and would get the best for ourselves. Our girls would complete their education successfully, become respected women in society and contribute productively to the growth and development of the community. Our women would work freely to enjoy their careers, have a fulfilling sexual life, great families and make the world a better place to be. There would be smiles on all of our faces as nobody would be violated against.
For us to achieve a world free of violence against women, women need to be empowered in their career, financially, physically, spiritually, mentally, socially and personally.
Women should be financially stable so that they depend on themselves. This will make them less vulnerable to violence.
Women should work out to be physically strong and able to counter any violence against them. They should learn life saving skills like karate. They should endeavor to live healthy.
They should have a strong personality, be able to speak for themselves and not suffer in silence.
They should have a strong social network. Great family and friends whom they should trust and be safe with. They should take time to have leisure.
They should nurture their spirituality and believe in the most high God who made us in His own image and likeness and therefore be confident, courageous and brave.
They should settle for a career that they love and one that will make them bring out the best in themselves and keep on developing their career paths.
Mentally they should be stable and be able to face the daily challenges in a balanced way.
With all the above, all is not lost and there is some hope at the end of the tunnel. There is some work that has already been started to fight the gender based violence.
In Kenya, we have structures and policies being formulated by the government to protect girls and women. People, human rights activists and organizations are speaking up and acting with the intention of bringing a positive change into females` lives.
Currently the girl child is being given priority and in some cases has even overtaken the boy child in so many ways. Girls are going to school and getting good jobs which make them to be independent and not to rely on a man for providing.
The society has slightly succeeded in fighting FGM a terrible violence against female
To speed up change, we need to encourage and support catalysts in the community. The catalysts can be in form of governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private organizations , human rights activists and individuals.
The community should be sensitized about the dangers of gender based violence. Leaders should ensure that they talk against the menace in all their gatherings and meetings.
The education systems should be tailored towards empowering girls and women in all spheres of life.
We should celebrate women so that our girls can be motivated and get role models to enable them bring out the best in themselves.
Important to note that some men in society go out of their way to protect girls and women in their lives; their daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, etc. The only irony is that same men violent other girls and women`s right. If only all men would put themselves in others shoes gender based violence would be a thing of the past.
Finally I take this chance to thank world pulse for offering this opportunity to the world to talk about gender based violence against women. Gender based violence is an evil that all of us in the community should shun and work towards eradicating.