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Civil society group scores first in war against gender based violence

Ambole Okata
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MIDRIFT'S programme manager Walter Mwania. [Photo/Ambole Okata]

Drug use and unemployment have been blamed for the increased urban and gender based violence in Nakuru county.

According to MIDRIFT HURINET, a Nakuru based civil society group, majority of young men involved in urban violence are on drugs and unemployed.

The group’s programmes director Walter Mwania said majority of the young men involved in crime are a frustrated lot after failing to secure employment and resort to crime as a way of making ends meet.

According to Mwania the fight against urban violence should be coupled with the fight against drugs and drug use.

He said that engaging unemployed youth in gainful economic activities will also help in taming the rising wave of urban violence in Nakuru.

Midrift in conjunction with the county assembly of Nakuru are working on a draft policy document that will help in fighting urban violence in Nakuru.

The draft urban violence prevention policy for Nakuru County is in its validation stage and MIDRIFT is engaging the county government which will take up the draft policy and forward it to the county assembly thorough the legal affairs committee.

The draft policy has incorporated views from members of the public, civil society groups, national and county governments and all state and non-state actors in the war against urban crime violence and gender based violence.

If adopted and passed by the county assembly the policy will also inform the formation and working of the county policing authority, a unit that is deemed critical in the war against gender based violence and urban crime.

Among the many issues the policy seeks to address is the issue of normalized violence in the society and culture norms which have been a great obstacle in the war against gender based violence.

MIDRIFT is also pushing for the strengthening of institutions tasked with the responsibility of leading the fight against gender based violence saying that most of them are not well equipped to undertake their task.

An example being put forward by MIDRIFT is the Kaptembwo police station where the gender desk officer is operating under a tree, something the organization says is counter-effective.

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