What will it take to end Gender based violence in Kenya?

Stop violence

Gender-Based Violence is fundamentally violence against an individual/population based on gender identity/expression. It is a multiple form of violence that reflects the political-economical structures that perpetuate gender-based inequalities among citizens. Therefore, it is not necessarily the interpersonal men’s violence against women’s. Moving towards effective strategies for transformative change and gender justice lets us tackle the root of this epidemic. This implies that we make a call of action to re-think and act beyond current institutional strategies of addressing the epidemic.

First, mass involvement of citizens is a long term transformative solution because the remedy will come from the grass root of the problem. Encouraging and advising citizens to fight against the ideal approach. Non-physical forms of violence such as a false sense of freedom that is naturalized will be eliminated in the long run.

Eliminating structural violence, proper power and control are key solutions. This is because the fundamental problem is the classification of gender as a binary and hierarchal model. In Kenya, gender is constructed in asymmetrical power relations where the meaning of masculinity is associated with power, control and dominance. For instance, this is clearly seen in churches and ethnic-social classes where feminism is less powerful. In addition, building on previous and existing strategies of Anti-violence movements is a remedy. This may lead to a more effective moment where the movements focus on the provision of social support services and prevention programs that target Inter-personal gender-based violence. As a developing Country, non-capitalist modes of economic organization that are not driven by the profit motive and do not rely on a class system to operate are an ideal approach.

The problem requires questioning of the gender system itself. From a personal point of view, gender system should be abolished since inequalities already exist between genders. Gender division of labour and wage inequalities are a few examples of this. The context of gender violence needs to be examined in order to avoid psychological and biological deterministic explanations that naturalise violence. The government should take part in this through the Commissioner of Human Rights and if possible through the creation of a Ministry of Human Welfare. This will act as a central power point to legislate laws for more proper handling and governance of humanity thus creating a remedy.

Last but not least, creating awareness through academic settings like education would aid in not only eliminating but also preventing such violence in future. Early childhood education in schools and through guidance and counselling may aid in creating awareness of the negative impact and create gender justice. In conclusion, gender-based violence is a political, economic-structural problem that remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Therefore, it is a condition that can be terminated as long as national cohesiveness exists.


The Center for International Voluntary Service (CIVS Kenya) is a Community Development Organization working with local marginalized communities in Kenya to support them in their development and fight the poverty through volunteering and community development programs.