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Kenya: Recent surge in rapes, UN calls for action

UN agency calls for strong action following recent surge in rapes in Kenya

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is urging the Kenyan Government to take strong measures following a recent spike in rape incidents that has seen young girls to elderly women being brutally assaulted.

Only last Thursday, Kenyans watched with horror the unfolding news of an 80-year old grandmother who was violently robbed, raped and left for dead.

“Every woman's life and dignity needs to be valued and protected,” UNIFEM regional programme director Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda said. “Women are urging the Kenyan Parliament to expedite passage of the Sexual Offences Bill. We can no longer afford to brush aside the issue of rape and impunity for sexual offences - it is time for Government, community and religious organizations to take concrete action to end violence against women.”

Current statistics indicate that a Kenyan woman is raped every 30 minutes. UNIFEM and its partners are urging the Kenyan Government, which is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, to take a strong stand on addressing the scale of sexual violence and urgently strengthen its legal support services to violence survivors.

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