Boost on fight against sexual gender-based violence

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s wife Ida Odinga during the launch of Homa Bay County Sexual and Gender Based Policy at Tom Mboya University on March 1, 2023. [James Omoro, Standard]

The fight against sexual gender-based violence has been augmented in Homa Bay County following the launch of a policy for combating the vice.

The strategy christened ‘Homa Bay County Sexual and Gender-Based Policy’ involves the state and non-state actors in the implementation of laws and policies that strengthen programmes for the prevention and management of sexual gender-based violence in the county.

The policy was launched in a ceremony presided over by ODM Leader Raila Odinga’s wife Ida Odinga, Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga, her deputy Oyugi Magwanga and Woman Rep Joyce Osogo at Tom Mboya University.

Wanga said the county government will implement the policy effectively to eradicate cases of SGBV in the county.

“We are launching this policy today to help us reduce cases of SGBV. As a government, I assure you that we will ensure the policy is implemented to enable us to achieve our objectives,” Wanga said.

She expressed concerns that out-of-court settlement is one of the obstacles impeding the fight against defilement.

The Governor warned parents and guardians against being compromised by perpetrators who want to defeat justice.

“I want anybody to be a keeper of his child or a neighbour’s children and protect them from defilers. More importantly, let parents stop the tradition of being compromised by people who violate the rights of their children,” Wanga said.

Mrs Odinga called on residents to mount concerted efforts in the fight against defilement perpetrators.

“Anybody found defiling a girl should not be entertained at all. They cause serious damage to our children,” Odinga said.

She called on residents to ensure their daughters acquire education without any discrimination.

“It has been proven that girls have the capacity to do any job like their male counterparts. Let us ensure we give all our children the opportunity to acquire education regardless of their sex,” Odinga said.

She urged women to venture into crop production to enable them to be empowered to avoid family conflicts. Odinga argued that lack of empowerment is a recipe for chaos in families.

Magwanga challenged women to start various income-generating activities.

“Empowerment begins with an individual. We are going to empower our women but let them be aggressive in starting income-generating activities,” Magwanga said.

Osogo said her office will support the fight against SGBV to ensure all girls go to school.

“We must all come out to rescue girls from sex pests,” Osogo said.