By Njoki Karuoya
It is with great pleasure that I read in one of the dailies on Monday that the Government has resolved to name and shame sex offenders by placing them on a list that can then be used by both private and public institutions to determine whether they are a danger to society.
As far as I am concerned, a man who sees nothing wrong in having âsexâ with a baby barely months old, or with a four-year-old child, or with a student he is entrusted to protect and educate â and then he goes ahead to justify his actions or blame some mental illness for the assault â that man is just plain sick and should ideally not be let loose anywhere near children or women.
Often, when I see reports of children below the age of five being sexually molested by these â there is no better word â lesser beings, I wonder, are these men really human, or just severely sick in the head? They must suffer a grave mental condition, I tell myself, because, no sane man can do that to a child.
What would be going through his mind as he unzips his pants to defile a toddler, who in the process, would scream for dear life due to excruciating pain?
Can such a man be normal? Some of them are fathers of daughters, yet they can do that to somebody elseâs child, or engage in affairs with girls as old as their own daughters? Are such men full of hate? So arenât we then as a society sufficiently justified to drag these sex monsters and shame them in public? Itâs the direction the West has taken and it is time we adopted the same measures to protect the countryâs âfairer sexâ, as it were.
In an inquiry launched last year by Kenya National Commission on Human Rights ( KNCHR), witnesses interviewed across the country reported incidences of sexual violence in the form of rape, defilement, incest and early/forced marriages, among others.
The effects of these acts of violence include unwanted pregnancies, infection with sexually transmitted infections including HIV, gynaecological complications, stigma, abandonment by spouses and psychosocial trauma.
But these are not the only problems related to sexual and reproductive health that men and women suffer.
There are issues to do with access to family planning, abortion (a debate that was the rage prior to the endorsement of the new Constitution), access to health care by pregnant women, protection of womenâs genitalia through the abolishment of female genital mutilation (FGM), the protection of girls and boys so they are guaranteed education to the highest levels possible, and many more.