A months load of watching news and I Feel unsafe as a woman “ ‘’she was stabbed by the husband, Raped on her way home, I am 16 am pregnant and we are four of us in this situation and it belongs to the same person, Its her father who did this, he raped her.’’ And yet they, the society have the audacity to say it’s her fault. The blame is always put on her. It’s how she dresses they say, oh yeah its how she walks, probably it’s the money she received, oh she is not a well behaved woman, ‘‘Ah There is something she did for him to beat her like that am so sure’’ they say. Let’s focus on one at a time.

CASE STUDY 1

VIOLENCE & MURDER

Kisu ni cutlery but kwa mkono ya roba ni silaha (A knife is cutlery but in the hands of a thief it is a weapon) famous words from Juliana’s song .But at this rate in Kenya Kisu ni cutlery but kwa mkono ya husband, boyfriend ama an X ni Silaha ya kukumaliza……

Sayhername. Her name is Peninah Wangeci 30 years old and a resident of Nyeri. A mother of three children.  As she lay on her hospital bed, she lamented that her marriage had been marred with violence .This was marked with persistent domestic quarrels. Her husband stabbed her 17 times. She is lucky to tell her tale, but her husband is still at large

Her name is Gladys Muthini, she lived with her partner an administration Police Officer with whom they have 2 children. He slapped and kicked her, then threw a table on her and as she lay on the floor, he proceeded to throw a glass at her and in the end stabbed her.  His reason being that he didn’t want her to join her Sacco. And by fact that he is an administration police, he called to threaten her family that he would shoot them if they reported the crime. And still society will say it’s her fault. She is alive but fears for her life since her partner is still at large.

Neighbors identified her only as Shiro. Ceaseless wrangles between them are believed to be the reason he stabbed his wife to death in Jonsaga, Huruma estate. After that he hung himself.

Grace Kangure 29 years old, location Embakasi. She didn’t work in Nairobi but visited her husband over weekends. Despite her calls for help, her neighbors were unable to help her since the door was shut from inside. He stabbed her 20 times which led to her death .Through the help of  neighbors,  her husband was arrested.

Mary Wangui 24 years old a mother of 2 sought refuge from her lady friend that’s after leaving her husband. Little did she know even with her friend she wasn’t safe enough! Her estranged husband was able locate her, Stabbed her on the neck leading to her death. The husband is still at large. Society are you still here to judge?

Her name Nasambwa Malwa a 36 years old  resident of Bungoma.  Neighbors found her lying in a pool of her own blood next to her husband. She had a deep knife stab wound on her chest. As the police carried her body out, her husband was still blacked out on the floor due to effects of alcohol. He was drunk.

Last but not least,  Ivy Wangechi. 25 years old sixth year medical student .Her killer was well known to her as a childhood friend. Hacked her in broad daylight out in the open. Reason being she refused to love him. OH he sent the girl some cash and she refused to call him back blah blah. Society through social media killed her twice. People including fellow women had the audacity to say she deserved it, others going as far as making memes humourising the whole situation. Shame!!!!! Her Killer was arrested.

These are seven women of different parts of Kenya. 5 died in the hands of men they knew. Two were lucky to tell their story. Their life ending in the hands of men. Femicide.

It about time we as the society address the root cause of this menace. It is the society that judges and still the society that loses when our women die in such uncouth manner. Who told men in the society that they have a right to kill? Who gave them this audacity to even hit a woman? Who told them a woman can’t say no? Who told them a woman cannot have her own opinion? Who told them they have a right of way all the time? Who told them being submissive is them being right all the time? Jamani! TOXIC MASCULINITY is the word. ‘‘Mwanamke hawezi niambia kitu’’ (A woman can tell me nothing) ‘‘Leo manze wife aliniletea ujinga nikamchapa’’ (Today my wife was up to no good so I hit her) these shameful statements have become statements of pride to men. Yet their effects are terrible especially to young men in the society. Try imagining hearing such statements as a young man from men you look up to. How do we raise this young men. What do they see from their own families? Try imagining the state of mind of the kids who lost their mothers in such a manner. What is their view? It’s about time we as a society live very consciously. A father being very conscious on how he treats his wife in and out of the presence of his children both male and female and the same goes to the mother. It always starts with the immediate family. Even you as a neighbor you have a role to play in shaping the society and especially the men. Let’s talk to one another. There so many outlets to anger that does not involve hitting or murdering a woman. And much as I say men I don’t mean all men. I believe that in this society there still men of sound mind. Men who can offer sound counsel to other men. ULIZA (ASK) There is no shame in asking for help. No one is born knowing, we all learn. And in learning we learn both the good and the bad.  lets learn the good and do good even when no one is watching. No problem is ever solved by violence. And remember the society is always watching, talking, commenting and ironically it’s the society that judges and is at fault. And guess what! Society is you and me. And you…you stand for good and stand for the truth and I will do the same.

BY: KIOO CHA JAMII

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