Dear World Citizen,
I am not sure about you but I can’t escape the feeling of disgust and fear every time I leave my home nowadays.
I don’t drive but use public transportation quite a lot to go about my errands. This means that I’ve got to walk a lot in public.
However, never have I felt so paranoid in my life when in public! As I walk in the market, at the bus stop, inside the matatu (public transportation mini van), along the street at the city centre… almost everywhere.
Why? Because there are men everywhere. Recently, perverted men have been attacking little girls, women and even grannies in broad daylight!!!
Every day, I realise that yet another woman has been attacked by men, even a police man. As she tried to board a public bus, as she sold food in the streets, as she went about her day along a public path, as she sat in a matatu.
Worse is that our local authorities wait until a violated woman personally reports an incident as perverts are allowed to walk free just because they are men.
I don’t wish for my country to be like India where rape cases increased by about 500% in a decade simply because no one cared to discipline young men who viewed women as objects.
The attacks on women in Nairobi are not about dress codes or the length of a woman’s skirt. Perverts who are young non-empowered men are releasing their frustrations by attacking women because they KNOW they can get away with it.
Neither the President of Kenya nor the First Lady have addressed this issue yet… they do have a daughter. Don’t other people’s daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and grandmothers matter just like their own?
Kenyans have recently marched in the streets of Nairobi to protest against the attacks.
Social media campaigns like #MyDressMyChoice continue as the public reports and condemn the attacks.
TV exposés and debates have been done by journalists and still continue.
Yet still, the most effective way to correct this situation remains dormant – Kenyan legislature and executive!
Female members of parliament have issued press statements. Others have even offered their own money to reward those who expose the offenders. Still, their voices remain clouded by silent male MPs – some who think that it’s the women’s fault.
Surely, what can we do to end this?
You and I are the public in the public.
We are the ones in danger!
What are some of the things we could do as the public to ensure that perverts and attackers don’t get to run our city?
No matter the risk of sounding like a delusional woman, I still pray and hope that my country will become a safer place for women and girls to live in.
For now, the battle against violence against women and girls continues. In our individual capacities, wherever we may be around the world, let our purple ribbons wrap and protect women in our societies.