Kenyan women demand guaranteed security

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As Kenya goes to the polls next month amid fears of post election violence, women living in the country’s informal settlements have come together to demand guaranteed security and respect for women’s rights.

On Thursday, the women used placards to hide their identities as they spoke of their fear and anxiety that they may face the violence that they witnessed during the 2007/8 where 1 500 people died and more than 900 others mostly women faced sexual and gender based violence.

During the one hour that the ten women spoke to us, we did not see their faces, they hid their identities behind placards with messages expressing their fear of an eruption of violence during the upcoming General Elections.

A commission set up to investigate Kenya’s 2007 Post Election violence indicated, the 900 cases of Sexual based violence that were reported during the post-election violence were only the “tip of the iceberg”.

Now another election beckons and women who live in Kenya’s informal settlements are afraid.

Seven Non Governmental Organisations working with women peace builders in the country now want the Kenyan government to move fast and guarantee security for women, especially those who live in informal settlements, including deploying female police officers in violence hotspots.

Kenya goes to the polls next month amid fears of post election violence if the results are disputed.

– By Sarah Kimani