The National Gender and Equality Commission has urged Universities in Kenya to take firm measures to address sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in their precincts. Making his concluding remarks following a 3 day public policy conference to address sexual and gender based violence in universities at the University of Nairobi, NGEC acting CEO Paul Kuria said the Commission had developed two costing studies to determine the economic costs of (SGBV) from the survivor’s perspective and institutional perspective and the findings indicate that institutions such as universities have a role to play in eradicating the vice.
Mr. Kuria called for the allocation of resources to respond to SGBV and rehabilitation of first time offenders to deter recurrence. “Universities should pursue innovative strategies through ICT to detect and prevent SGBV within University precincts” said Kuria.
He urged university administrations to partner with private house and real estate developers for hostels and heads of hostel program to ensure security for student tenants living off campus.
The Conference organized by the University of Nairobi with support of Strategic Applications International - SAI, provided a forum to discuss SGBV in university campuses, the role of student leaders in combating SGBV, emerging trends impacting SGBV incidents and action points on development of policy frameworks to tackle the vice.
The Commission and the National GBV Working group is spearheading a three year campaign that calls for accountability from duty bearers and rights holders campaign against sexual gender based violence dubbed Keeping the promise end GBV Campaign. The first year of the campaign focused on duty bearers where a duty bearer’s handbook was developed and disseminated.
The second year of the campaign had a survivor oriented focus. The third year of the campaign focuses on GBV and elections, and violence perpetuated through the election process can be prevented. The campaign has so far been launched in 14 counties.