Female Parliamentarians in Kenya are urging President William Ruto to declare femicide and other forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) a national disaster. The Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) issued a statement on Wednesday, expressing concern over the rising incidents of violence against women in the country.

KEWOPA Chairperson, Leah Sankaire, condemned the recent cases of femicide, particularly highlighting the shocking murders of Starlet Wahu and Rita Waeni in Roysambu. The association called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Inspector General of Police to expedite investigations into ongoing femicide cases and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Sankaire emphasized the need to address the continued victimization of women on media platforms, where they are often blamed for their deaths. She noted the alarming trend of technologically facilitated GBV through social media and called for a collective effort to end violence against women.

“We cannot normalize femicides. We as Kenyans must take deliberate action to end violence against women. We wish to call upon the President to declare femicide and other forms of GBV a national disaster and commit to addressing it,” said Sankaire.

She criticized the country’s slow response to the femicide epidemic, describing current attempts to address GBV as haphazard and uncoordinated. Sankaire emphasized that women are not safe in various spaces, including public areas, government buildings, schools, and even their homes.

KEWOPA urged the government to take urgent action in preventing violence and strengthening the protection of women and girls against all forms of SGBV in accordance with existing laws and policies.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga also weighed in on the issue, describing the surge in femicide cases as a national emergency. In a statement, Raila expressed concern about the increasing deaths of young women and emphasized the need to address this alarming trend.

The recent femicide cases in Nairobi have sparked reactions on social media, with civil societies, including the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), condemning the rising incidents and the tendency to blame the victims.

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