In a bold demonstration of commitment to addressing the escalating problem of gender-based violence (GBV), the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and Soroptimist International joined forces for a 12-kilometer walk through the streets of Eldoret today.
Marking 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence an initiative aimed to raise awareness about the issue and galvanize the community to take action.
Alarming Statistics Highlight the Need for Action:
During the walk, Dr. Wilson K. Aruasa, MBS,EBS CEO of MTRH, presented a disturbing statistic: the MTRH’S Centre for Assault Recovery -Eldoret(CAR-E) supported by Legal Aid Centre -Eldoret (LACE),Ampath centre receives an average of 400 GBV cases per month, with a disproportionate number of victims being women and children under the age of 18. Dr. Aruasa further highlighted the growing trend of men experiencing GBV, often with serious physical injuries.
Addressing Cultural Barriers:
Recognizing the complex challenges surrounding GBV, Khayanga Wasike, Soroptimist Country Programs Director, emphasized the need for increased public awareness, particularly with regard to protecting children from the mental trauma associated with GBV incidents. Local leaders, led by Caroline Cherono, acknowledged the role of cultural norms in discouraging men from reporting GBV experiences and called for collaborative efforts to overcome these barriers.
A Call for Collective Action:
This 12-kilometer walk served as a powerful call to action for the Eldoret community to stand united against GBV. By fostering open dialogue, providing comprehensive support services to survivors, and addressing cultural norms that impede reporting, the community can work together to create a safer and more equitable environment for all.
Mobilizing Resources and Support:
The walk culminated with a call to action, urging individuals and organizations to further engage in the fight against GBV. MTRH’s Recovery Centre offers crucial medical, legal, and psychosocial support services to survivors. Additionally, Soroptimist International continues its global work empowering women and girls through education, advocacy, and service. By mobilizing resources and support, the community can amplify the impact of initiatives like this walk and create a lasting change.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign was started by activists at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.