The Family is a Projection of the State
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the National Crime Research Centre to probe “the escalating cases of Gender-Based Violence, the worrying trend of cases where the girl child has been disempowered, and the violation of children’s rights.”
“I am concerned by increasing tensions within our homes. Cases of Gender-Based Violence have increased, mental health issues have worsened, and instances of teenage pregnancy have escalated,” said the president. “We must always remember that the family is a projection of the State. If the family is under attack, the State is under attack. If the family is weak, the country is weak.”
The president further directed the NCRC to prepare an advisory to security agencies on remedial action within 30 days and initiate prosecution of violators.
The President’s announcement comes amidst reports that over 152,000 teenage girls became pregnant which is a 40% increase in the monthly average. Some of these pregnancies could be as a result of sexual violence, which has been projected to rise during COVID-19 lockdowns.
According to a report entitled “The potential impact of COVID-19 on teenage pregnancy in Kenya” by the African Population and Health Research Center, school closure has stopped the provision of school meals and sanitary towels, which children from disadvantaged families rely on and this has raised the risk of young girls engaging in transactional sex in order to gain not only access to these essential needs but also to support their families.