‘Stop killing us!’: Thousands march to protest against femicide in Kenya | Women’s Rights News

Thousands of people have gathered to protest in cities and towns in Kenya against the recent slayings of more than a dozen women.

The anti-femicide demonstration on Saturday was the largest event ever held in the country against sexual and gender-based violence.

In the capital, Nairobi, protesters wore T-shirts printed with the names of women who became homicide victims this month. The crowd, composed mostly of women, brought traffic to a standstill.

“Stop killing us!” the demonstrators shouted as they waved signs with messages such as “There is no justification to kill women.”

The crowd in Nairobi was hostile to attempts by the parliamentary representative for women, Esther Passaris, to address them. Accusing Passaris of remaining silent during the latest wave of killings, protesters shouted her down with chants of “Where were you?” and “Go home!”

“A country is judged by not how well it treats its rich people, but how well it takes care of the weak and vulnerable,” said Law Society of Kenya President Eric Theuri, who was among the demonstrators.

Kenyan media outlets have reported the slayings of at least 14 women since the start of the year, according to Patricia Andago, a data journalist at media and research firm Odipo Dev who also took part in the march.

Odipo Dev reported this week that news accounts showed at least 500 women were killed in acts of femicide from January 2016 to December 2023. Many more cases go unreported, Andago said.

Two cases that gripped Kenya this month involved two women who were killed at Airbnb accommodations. The second victim was a university student who was dismembered and decapitated after she reportedly was kidnapped for ransom.

Theuri said cases of gender-based violence take too long to be heard in Kenyan court, which he thinks emboldens perpetrators to commit crimes against women.

“As we speak right now, we have a shortage of about 100 judges. We have a shortage of 200 magistrates and adjudicators, and so that means that the wheel of justice grinds slowly as a result of inadequate provisions of resources,” he said.

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