Massive Protests Erupt in Kenya Against Femicide, Demanding Justice for Slain Women

Massive Protests Erupt in Kenya Against Femicide, Demanding Justice for Slain Women

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NAIROBI, Kenya - Thousands of individuals took to the streets in cities and towns across Kenya to protest the recent wave of femicides that claimed the lives of at least 14 women in January. This anti-femicide movement marks the largest demonstration ever witnessed in the country against sexual and gender-based violence, with protesters demanding an end to the killings.

In Nairobi, the capital city, demonstrators wore T-shirts bearing the names of the female victims, effectively turning their tragic stories into symbols of resistance. The predominantly female crowd brought traffic to a standstill, passionately chanting slogans such as "Stop killing us!" and brandishing signs that read "There is no justification to kill women."

However, the protesters showed hostility towards Esther Passaris, the parliamentary representative for women, accusing her of remaining silent in the face of these ongoing atrocities. The crowd's chants of "Where were you?" and "Go home!" drowned out Passaris' attempts to address them.

Among the demonstrators was Eric Theuri, the President of the Law Society of Kenya, who emphasized the importance of a nation's treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. He stated, "A country is judged by not how well it treats its rich people but how well it takes care of the weak and vulnerable."

According to Patricia Andago, a data journalist at Odipo Dev, a media and research firm, Kenyan media outlets have reported the murders of at least 14 women since the beginning of the year. Disturbingly, Odipo Dev's research revealed that there were approximately 500 cases of femicide between January 2016 and December 2023, with countless more incidents going unreported.

The protests were fueled by two highly publicized cases involving women who were killed while staying at Airbnb accommodations. One victim, a university student, was dismembered and decapitated after being kidnapped for ransom. The second victim, a young woman, was found dead in an apartment with multiple stab wounds after meeting a man she had connected with online.

Criticism has been directed towards the authorities, as some women have come forward claiming they had previously reported instances of alleged torture by suspects involved but no charges were ever filed. Eric Theuri attributes this lack of action to the sluggish pace of gender-based violence cases in the court system, citing a shortage of judges and magistrates as a significant hindrance to delivering justice.

News Agencies 

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