Shifting the narrative on sexual harassment

Kristine Yakhama
Posted August 9, 2021 from Kenya

In Kenya we talk a lot about rape but we rarely look at the other forms of sexual harassment, like the [non-consensual] touching, the commenting [catcalling]. We were able to come up with this graphical representation of different forms of sexual harassment and then use that to have conversations with young women about their experiences of sexual harassment.

This is significant because a few years back a member of parliament came up with a bill to have stricter sentencing for perpetrators of sexual harassment but it was shot down, partly due to a lack of evidence.

Currently in Kenya sexual harassment is only defined as being able to happen within formal institutions like employment and things. So being able to engage girls in the community shows that it can happen anywhere and anytime. We showed that it is the red flag towards rape, it isn’t something that just happens – it starts small, first they look at you then when nothing happens to them they start commenting, then when nothing is done about it they continue to advance [to more extreme sexual violence]. Addressing sexual harassment is a great way of fighting sexual violence. [due to the advocacy of Good Health Community Programmes, sexual harassment of girls in Kakamega has made national news and MPs have made commitments to supporting the sexual offences bill.]

Comments 10

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rebecca.tang
Aug 09
Aug 09

Thank you for sharing. There are many different circumstances that sexual harassment can happen and not limit to formal institutions. It needs to bring more general awareness and improve the legal system to prohibit sexual harassment.
Having said that, we can see some improvement but still works to carry on.
Please continue to voice out to bring the awareness! May Almighty God bless you all!

Kristine Yakhama
Aug 14
Aug 14

Thanks Rebecca

megsmueller
Aug 09
Aug 09

Hello dear sister. I love your story and I agree. Harassment can take place for years and yet, there is no evidence to provide for this which leaves a girl hopeless and frustrated. I do not want this for anybody - it's bad for future healing and coping. This type of behavior has a lasting impact on the victim and it's hard to shake off. Please write some more, I am interested to know the progress or the way forward. Thank you for your work and your story.

Much love!

Kristine Yakhama
Aug 14
Aug 14

Noted will revert thanks

Beth Lacey
Aug 10
Aug 10

Education, as you describe, play such an important role here

Kristine Yakhama
Aug 14
Aug 14

Information is power

Anna Dylewska
Aug 13
Aug 13

Thanks for sharing! Looking from my own perspective and experiences it is crucial to educate girls and empower them to speak up! I wonder what does it take for the educational systems to have it as a part of school programs …

Kristine Yakhama
Aug 14
Aug 14

Hon Elsie women representative Kakamega County developed a bill for sex education to be in syllabus will find out on progress

Anna Dylewska
Aug 14
Aug 14

This is a great news! Fingers crossed for the outcome and loads of power!!!! ❤️

Leonida Odongo
Aug 15
Aug 15

Dear Christine ,

Very true , especially when walking on the streets and in crowded places.Thank you for bringing out a subject that is often ignored and "normalised".

Best

Leonida