Source: Nation Africa
Nairobi County on Monday signed a new law to boost the fight against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the county.
Acting Governor Ann Kananu assented into law the Nairobi City County Sexual and Gender-Based Management and Control Bill, sponsored by Nominated MCA Wanjiru Kariuki.
The bill, a game changer in the fight against SGBV, aims at speeding up efforts to eliminate all forms of gender related violence and ensure perpetrators are prosecuted.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at City Hall, Ms Kananu commended the bill sponsor, assuring her of the county’s commitment to implement the law, which will see the creation of safe houses and proper budgetary policies for sexual violence victims.
She said the law will address the existing gaps in dealing with SGBV.
“The new law is critical for the residents of Nairobi because I have seen a lot of women and girls suffer due to sexual and gender-based violence. I associate myself with the sentiment that it’s better to have a divorced daughter than a dead one,” said the county boss.
Ms Kananu also recognised non-State actors including the Coalition of Violence Against women, UN Women and other human rights organisations for their work towards advancement of women's rights.
Public Service and Gender Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rachel Shebesh who witnessed the signing, termed it a remarkable milestone.
"The Ministry through the State Department for Gender will bring partners on board to ensure we have a recovery centre that doubles up as a safe house for survivors," said Ms Shebesh.
The CAS called on GBV survivors to report cases using the official toll free number 1195 or to the nearest police station.
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris said the new law will help anchor the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), Nairobi City County Government and Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) funded Safe House into law.
“This week all parties will sign an MoU to establish this unique facility. Congratulations are in order to the sponsor of this incredible new law,” she said.
The new law authorises the county government to establish fully equipped SGBV desks with toll-free helplines in every ward.
It also requires City Hall to promote education on SGBV in public youth polytechnics and other county-run vocational training institutions.
The new law also requires that an SGBV county management committee be established within 12 months of the Bill’s operationalization.
A report by Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, last year, listed Nairobi County as among the counties leading in GBV cases.