Policy makers urged to simplify preventions of gender based violence. PHOTO /CHRIS OJOW






By Vera Shawiza





New Faces New Voices- Kenya (NFNV-Kenya) and Women Win have

appealed to policy makers to create adequate mechanisms in

governance framework in a bid to have a workable infrastructure

that provides rapid response to victims of Gender-Based Violence






Limited or lack of coordination of stakeholders from government

and civil society organisations working on GBV cases is one of the

missing links that derail the effective response in addressing the

rising cases of GBV across the country.





NFNV Champion and Forensics Expert Dr. Myrna Kalsi said the

healthcare ecosystem for GBV is deficient of forensic medical

knowledge, which causes a negative ripple effect in the current

governance framework of the management of these cases across

various stakeholders, policy makers and the beneficiaries of the






“The current governance framework for the management of GBV is

weak. The current governance infrastructure is not appropriate for

the generation of relevant data in GBV for the development of a

continuum in assessing the gender impact in GBV cases,” said Dr.






While echoing her statement, Vunja Kimya Founder Dr. Kizzie

Shako added that proper and adequate mechanisms with the policy

makers when investigating cases of GBV is key in winning the fight

against rampant cases of GBV, especially during the COVID-19






“Demand for safe-houses was brought to the fore during the Covid-

19 period, not only for girls but also for boys. Generally, we

desperately need safe-houses for GBV victims everywhere across the

country. This will also provide a platform for rehabilitation

targeting perpetrators and offer assistance to victims pursuing

justice,” reiterated Dr. Shako.





The experts were speaking during a brainstorming virtual

Knowledge Exchange session dubbed Missing Links: Healthcare

response in Managing GBV that deliberated on considerations for

good governance in health.





Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital (KUTTRH) Dr.

Deepak Parmar said a multi-sectorial approach is required in

sensitizing nurses, doctors, and trauma counsellors and police

involvement to rapidly respond to cases of GBV.




Lack of comprehensive medical training and knowledge, Dr. Parmar

said has contributed to lack of strategies in offering assistance to

victims of rape and sexual abuse. This includes provision of

emergency care such as prophylaxis to prevent Sexually

Transmitted Infections (STI) or contraception, counselling from high

risk situations of suicide or emotional distress and the right

reporting forums.





In her remarks, Collaborative Centre for Gender Development

(CCGD) Sexual and Gender Based Violence Mitigation Programmes

Coordinator Milka Kariuki said despite the government pledging the

fight against cases of GBV, there is need for political will to bridge

the disconnect gap among the various stakeholders for a seamless

healthcare and legal response.





Cultural practices are also barriers that allow perpetrators go scot

free, leaving the victims traumatized and suffering from stigma. It is

time we addressed such issues which will be a success when all

stakeholders work together.





Facilitated by New Faces New Voices- Kenya (NFNV-Kenya) in

conjunction with Women Win, the Knowledge Exchange virtual

session is part of a series that brings on board key industry players

to deliberate on considerations for good governance in health aimed

at pushing for implementing national policies to curb rising cases of

gender based violence. The second Knowledge Exchange session

will focus on ‘Steps towards good governance in mental health’.





New Faces New Voices (NFNV) Kenya is an implementing partner of

the Graça Machel Trust as part of its Multiplying Faces, Amplifying

Voices initiative. NFNV focuses on expanding the role and

participation of women in the financial sector. The organisation has

a presence in 16 countries including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the

DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda,

Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and





Women Win endeavours to continuously push boundaries when it

comes to collaborations and strategies so that funding for girls’ and

women’s rights are responsive to the real needs of women and girls

on the ground and that of their communities. The organisation

recognises and values innovation as a key pillar in tackling the

barriers that prevent women and girls to live a happy and

empowered life.



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