Emotion rules at Femicide vigil (Photos)

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Women leaders under the umbrella Embrace Women Group yesterday assembled at the University of Nairobi grounds to send a strong message on femicide.

Violence against young women and girls has sparked national debate over the last few months prompting women leaders and activists to speak and stand up for young women.

Colouring the university grounds with white and pink attire, the female attendants decried the runaway killings of women, and other forms of violence perpetrated against the female sex over the last year.

Raila Odinga's wife Ida Odinga overcome by emotion at femicide vigil held at Nairobi University.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s wife Ida and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru were at some point overcome by emotion when some affected victims narrated their stories.

“I want to speak out so these murders stop. It is so painful to lose a child. My daughter was still very young, she was not even married yet and didn't have a child. She was the one taking care of me. I don't know how I will go on but I know God will give me strength,” one Ms. Elizabeth Moraa, the late Hellen Kwamboka’s mother told Standard.

“This meeting is to think about how women have been undermined,” said Nairobi County assembly speaker Beatrice Elachi.

Bereaved families and Women leaders hold a candlelit vigil for those brutally killed during the launch of crusade against domestic violence at the University of Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango/Standard]
“Why do we have an anti-stock theft unit yet we have no police to take care of us as women? We are here to ask critical questions,” posed a member of Equality Now, one of the organisations involved in planning the event together. 

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For a subsection of women, those who have lost their daughters to violent acts, the event offered them the opportunity to speak to the nation together, and for the first time, be heard.

University of Nairobi travel theatre member Mary Wangare (left) and Alexis Wanga entertaining guests. [Maxwell Agwanda/Standard]
From Sharon Otieno, murdered last year and her body abandoned in a forest to Ivy Wangechi, the Moi University medical student killed just weeks ago and Hellen Kwamboka, a police officer stationed in parliament found dead a week ago in her house in Umoja, Nairobi, all mothers of these women united to speak out against the growing ill that had robbed them of their daughter, so young and so callously.

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