Femicide The killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender. The term femicide was introduced in the last century to describe killings of women that were gender related in order to recognize the impact of inequality and discrimination, identified internationally as a root cause of violence against women
Despite the changes in the constitution that elevates women voices in both private and public spaces, Kenya is still largely a patriarchal society. Femicide serves a chilling reminder of the subordinate niche women are expected to occupy in our society. Recently, Kenyans have been inundated with stories about women falling prey to male aggressors, though the murders of Sharon Otieno, Monica Nyawira, and Beryl Adhiambo have dominated the limelight, many more others may not have made it to prime news.
A lot of these incidences begs the question, “Why do men resort to killing their partners?”
The Impacts of Femicide
Femicide tragically robs a girl or woman of life. In addition to the finality of this cruel and intentional act, many girls and women experience multiple acts of violence, degradation, psychological and physical isolation, fear, and terror in the hours, months or years before they are killed. Their experience is one of profound suffering; then they are forever silenced and forever lost.
The suffering does not end with the femicide of an individual woman or girl. Women live their lives in relationship with others. They are daughters, mothers, partners, sisters, friends, coworkers, and neighbours. Femicide causes immeasurable loss and suffering for those who laughed with, loved, cared for and relied on their relationship with this woman. In some situations, families and friends do not know the fate of their loved one who is missing or do not have their loved one’s body to honour through their preferred death and burial customs. Loss, traumatic grief, poor health, compromised functioning at school or work, and loss of income are some of the impacts experienced by those affected by the murder of a woman or girl close to them.
Femicide also harms communities and society as a whole. Gender expectations and gender-based violence violate the rights and limit the opportunities available to fully one-half of our population – that is women and girls. The continuum of violence against women prevents girls and women from reaching their potential and from contributing to the familial, social and economic well-being of themselves and their communities. This very real loss affects every member of society.
“Women are the backbone of this society.. Not “mama Nani” “slay queens” “side chics” “crazy” or whatever stupid derogatory terms you toy with at our expense. We are mothers, daughters, partners, sisters, friends…dealing with the pressure that comes with excelling in a society where the odds are stacked against you… childbirth, pregnancy, reproductive health issues, responsibility of caring for the home/family, viewed as 2nd class citizens and not accorded the same freedoms as men..But again, we continue to excel at everything men are freely able do and more without complaints. We are “women” and that alone should tell you how inexplicably outstanding we are. We are so much stronger and capable than we give ourselves credit for. “