Meru County crafts new policy on gender violence

The county government has formulated a policy to help tackle sexual and gender-based violence in the region.

The policy seeks to address various forms of violence, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), said County Education and Gender Executive Linner Nkirote.

During a recent visit to the area, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said Meru has the highest rate of gender-based violence in the country, a trend which needs to be stemmed.

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Anti-FGM Board Chairperson Agnes Pareiyo last week visited the region following increasing concern over female genital mutilation that is being carried out in the county.

Speaking when the team toured Igembe after three girls who underwent the rite died, Ms Pareiyo said FGM was a form of violence that needed to be stemmed.

Participatory process

Ms Nkirote said the policy was developed through a participatory process which brought together stakeholders, among them government departments, county assembly and non-governmental organisations.

“It is our sincere hope that all the actors and stakeholders in the county will rally around this policy to ensure that we all steer the county towards the desired position of reducing number of sexual and gender-based violence cases in the county,” she said.

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Maendeleo ya Wanawake, Meru branch, chairperson Kanana Nteere said they hope the policy would reduce violence cases.

She said harmful practices such as female circumcision and violence in the family had led to loss of lives, injuries and poverty.

“The idea that you enforce discipline by beating the wife has no place in our society, neither is FGM and all other forms of violence,” she added.

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Meru countyFGMGender violence