We are on the fifth day of observing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, which started on Monday, and will run until December 10 on the International Human Rights Day.
It is a season to remember victims of gender violence, who live with the scars of an evil that refuses to go away.
So deeply entrenched is the problem in our society that if defies confinement to some two weeks of a year.
Not a day passes without horrendous tales of a woman being battered – or killed – by her partner. Just yesterday, we carried a court story in which an accused person confessed to killing his lover because she touched his private parts.
Other reasons for beating up women can be as trivial as not serving meat to a husband, like what happened with police officer Betty Kavata, who died in December 1998 after agonising months at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Despite the emerging mantra that men suffer violence as much as women do, the argument is only partly true. A 2008 report of the Federation of Women Lawyers yesterday showed that 80 per cent of perpetrators of violence are men, compared to women, who account for just 14 per cent.
Bearing in mind that gender-based violence has physical, emotional, sexual and economic dimensions, with the perpetrators being listed as intimate partners, relatives, and workmates, it is time concerted efforts were made to stem the evil that is no respecter of women, be they MPs, judges and magistrates, or even media women.
The need to stem GBV emerges from the fact that it carries enormous costs ranging from missed work hours, treating injuries; treatment of sexually-transmitted infections in cases of rape; miscarriage and time spent at home caring for victims