With 5 days to elections, the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-KENYA), has today launched a physical and online Elections Observation Centre. This is to provide psychosocial and legal support across the country.
FIDA-KENYA have recruited, trained and deployed over 100 elections SGBV monitors across the country. The outcome being that SCBV is still prevalent against women aspirants, voters and supporters.
“Through our monitors, we have been able to report map and document incidents of sexual gender-based violence perpetration against women aspirants, voters and supporters.”Said FIDA-Kenya Chairperson, Nancy Ikinu.
Social Media has also presented an opportunity to report and document election-related violence on a mass scale, providing information which could not ordinarily be accessed using traditional means.
According to Christabella Naliaka-Monitoring and Evaluation Lead FIDA-Kenya, there have been 745 reported cases of sexual gender-based violence, as of 30th June 2022. Siaya county reported 59 cases followed by Kisumu with 40, Nairobi 40, Kericho 33 and Marsabit 33. These are the counties with the highest reported cases. Turkana has got 3 reported cases, Wajir 3, Baringo 2, Lamu 2 and Kiambu county 1, marking the counties with least cases.
“These analysis were collected between April 2022 when the party nominations began and the end of June 2022, verbal abuse/ hatespeech and cyber bullying being the leading cases with 416 and 117 respectively.”Christabella further stated.
Anne Ireri- Executive Director, FIDA-Kenya, called on the IEBC to ensure a free and fare election. She also added that social media is not the actual cause of violence but a tool used to fuel and exploit existing divisions.