Women urge greater emphasis on their security during polls

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 -The government has been urged to give priority to the security of women before, during and after the August General Election.

Several Non-Governmental Organisations came together Thursday to address the issues affecting women where they asked the government to deploy more police officers to hotspots in the slums more preferably female officers to manage women’s vulnerability.

Founder of Peace Pen Communicators Mildred Ngesa asked the government to put up concrete measures to address issues affecting children and women in violence hotspots.

“It is very important that issues of women be taken into consideration. We all know that violence doesn’t begin in posh places, it starts in informal settlements,” said Ngesa.

Informal settlements in Kibera, Mukuru, Korogocho, Shauri Moyo, Huruma, and Kaloleni were among the places identified to having signs of violence in the forthcoming elections.

Women who represented those areas narrated some of the issues with regards to insecurity and requested the media not to disclose their identities.

“I come from Mathare and I want to say that people are moving out especially women because there are gangs already running around and threatening people. I want appeal to the government to see that we have enough security to take care of us as women and children,” one of the women said.

Most of the issues raised from these areas include circulation of threatening messages and leaflets, emerging and regrouping of criminal gangs. The issue of people arming themselves was also said to be causing tension among the residents.

Politicians have been accused of enticing the youth with alcohol and drugs so that they can threaten people to vote them and cause violence.

Groups of women peace builders have recommended that mapping of easy access for emergency and health care services by medical and security personnel during violence, safety of women and children be guaranteed because they are the most vulnerable group during violence and creation of safe places for children and women in case violence erupts.

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