Rights group calls for tough stance on violence against women and children

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Former FGM specialists singing an anti-FGM song at a past function at Ortum Center. FILE PHOTO
Former FGM specialists singing an anti-FGM song at a past function at Ortum Center. FILE PHOTO

A non-governmental organization that advocates for women and children rights in rural areas within North Rift region has called on the government to enact tough laws against violence against such groups.

Pokot Women empowerment Organization wants those who violate the rights of women and children to face stiff penalties in order to curb the escalating vice.

The Organization Director Ms Leah Psiyah observed that introducing tougher laws that seek to protect women from forced early marriages, genital mutilations and denial of the right to education will help reverse the hiking trend of the vices.

Speaking in Kapenguria in a meeting held to advocate children rights, the director observed that the rate at which young girls were being subjected to violence in West Pokot County alone was at 60 percent noting that the trend was alarming.

“These vices are done secretly and it’s not easy for one to notice until you visit the most remote areas where the outdated practices are carried out,” she pointed out.

Ms Psiya mentioned Konyao, Alale, Nakwitiro and Lokasur as the most affected regions in West Pokot and called on parents in the areas to take their children to school.

Pointing out that education is free and compulsory, Ms Psiya said the organization will endeavour to ensure that parents shun the outdated practices and take their children to school.

She noted that girls were most affected since most parents in the remote areas preferred to take boys to schools, instead of girls.

Ms Psiya disclosed that most young girls were getting married off forcefully after being subjected to FGM and observed that only tough laws and embracing devolution will help curb the vice.

Nominated MCA Mary Mulee pointed out that many girls in the County, especially those living in remote areas were not attending school due to the outdated traditional practices.

Noting that many girls were forced to undergo operations during birth due to complications caused by FGM practice, Ms Mulee advised parents to shun the vice.