Nairobi News


Declare gender-based violence a national disaster, Catholic sisters ask Ruto

The Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK) has expressed concern over the recent rise in cases of gender-based violence in the country.

In a petition to President William Ruto through the office of Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, the Catholic sisters outlined a number of measures the state should consider implementing to curb gender-based violence in the country.

Led by Sister Pasilisa Namikoye, the Executive Secretary of AOSK, the sisters from the 47 counties called on the government to urgently come up with measures that will put an end to the scourge.

“We urge the Government of Kenya through the office of President William Ruto to declare gender-based violence a national disaster and put in place appropriate measures to address the issue,” said Sister Namikoye.

The recommendations include the establishment of accessible safe houses for victims of gender-based violence.

The association also insisted on the need to train police officers on how to handle cases of gender-based violence and to take strong action against perpetrators of gender-based violence.

The sisters also want the government to establish a national register of perpetrators of gender-based violence in all administrative offices and police stations in the country so that perpetrators can be easily identified.

They also expressed their commitment as a church to step up efforts to combat gender-based violence and to work with the authorities to end the vice.

Speaking on behalf of the CS, Principal Secretary (PS) Anne Wang’ombe welcomed and commended the step taken by the Catholic Sisters.

The PS said the fight against gender-based violence is a campaign that needs everyone on board, including the Catholic Church.

She also said that the ministry has come up with a number of measures, some of which have been implemented, leading to a reduction in the vice.

“We need everyone’s help. We cannot blame the police, we cannot blame the church. We need everyone’s help. We must all come on board because this is not a war that we can win alone,” the PS said.

The PS said the church and the political class can play a big role in ending gender-based violence in the country.

The ministry highlighted some of the legal reforms that have been passed, including the Sexual Offences Act and the Domestic Violence Protection Act.

During the meeting, the PS said that the vice does not only affect women, but also men, who need to be protected by the institutions.

She also said that the cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country have been decreasing since the government put in place some plans to end the exercise by involving communities in sensitising them about its negative impact on the community and the lives of girls.