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FIDA-Kenya declares femicide a national disaster

The Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) has issued a statement expressing deep concern over the alarming increase in cases of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAW/G), declaring femicide in Kenya a national disaster.

This comes in the wake of the gruesome murder of Starlet Wahu Mwangi, believed to be a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV), and another woman found dead in a Roysambu short-term rental under similar circumstances, FIDA-Kenya has sounded the alarm on the safety of women and girls in the country.

While commending the National Police Service for the swift apprehension of the suspect in the Wahu case, FIDA-Kenya raised concerns about the persistent failure of the state to protect women and girls from VAW/G, particularly in private spaces where the perpetrators are often familiar to the victims.

“It is extremely saddening that in the last year, 10 cases of femicide have been reported in the media. Many more cases remain unreported.,” the statement read.

Also read: How the TRM Drive killer lured woman to her death at rented BnB

Nancy Ikinu, Chairperson of FIDA-Kenya, emphasized the need for urgent and comprehensive actions to address femicide and VAW/G, aligning with the organization’s commitment to protecting the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Kenya.

The organisation emphasised that bringing suspects to justice is not enough and called for thorough investigations into the circumstances leading to such incidents. FIDA-Kenya urged the Government of Kenya to guarantee the safety of women and girls from IPV.

Additionally, FIDA-Kenya called upon criminal justice actors to consider the rights of the victims’ families throughout legal proceedings, emphasising the right to access justice.

The organisation also urged the government to enhance regulatory mechanisms for Airbnb, where recent incidents have occurred.

“FIDA-Kenya equally affirms her commitment to offering Pro Bono legal representation and psychosocial support for the victim’s family as well as other victims of VAW/G in the country as well as commits to facilitate Nationwide awareness on IPV alongside both state and non-state actors,” the statement noted.