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COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE 16DAYS OF ACTIVISM

The move by more organizations and individuals to join the campaign against crimes against women and girls who are at a higher risk of violence is a big step in holding responsible parties accountable and creating a world of peaceful coexistence. This year’s theme is #NoExcuse to emphasize the need for accountability for our actions.

The 16 Days of Activism is a campaign that kicks off on 25th November and climaxes on 10th December. The campaign highlights issues of Gender-based violence, Female Genital Mutilation, Femicide, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment among others. These unfortunate events are not choosy of status but it’s up to those with the power to be a voice for those at the grassroots levels.

Linda, not her real name underwent FGM at the age of 12. Despite being taught at school about the effects, she was scared of disappointing her parents. ” I was sent to my grandmother’s place, I had plans of escaping but I didn’t know people around there and I was afraid my parents would be mad at me, so I went through with the cut” she explained. She elaborates how the ‘cut’ has had no positive impact on her yet and is glad that strict measures are being taken against the perpetrators.

” Instead of the cut, the older women in the society can arrange for camps where they can teach young girls about menstrual hygiene and how to protect themselves in cases of assault” she advised.

Increased involvement of men in these discussions has bore fruits as they feel part of the community and can easily identify and help in such situations. They are also not left out as they can be victims of GBV and it’s important to create awareness and remind them that they have not been forgotten. For a long time, they were stigmatized and would be afraid to admit had been assaulted by the opposite gender.

For plans to be successful, money is needed to procure materials and offer support. The government both county and national should make it a priority to eradicate these offenses and partner with other organizations to ensure a safe and conducive environment is achieved. The religious leaders should be involved too since they hold an important position in society and they have a sway with their congregation. We should not stop at the 16 days but do what is right always, the campaign should be a daily mantra we live by. Collective responsibility has proved to make the impossible possible, let us lead by example as a country and make the world a better place for the generation to come.

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