Wed. Feb 20th, 2019

Women judges, magistrates vow to step up advocacy against gender violence

Women judges, magistrates and prosecutors on Saturday signed a commitment to help combat gender-based violence in Africa.

They decried weak enforcement mechanisms, lack of awareness, culture, poverty and gender discrimination which perpetuate the vice.

Delegates from Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and Zambia held a two-day conference in Nairobi.

Participants said violence is prevalent despite the harsh laws in place.

They shared experiences on how they handled GBV cases in their countries.

The conference was themed, “Strengthening the Role and Contribution of Women Justice Actions in the Adjudication of GBV Cases.

In a statement, the delegates resolved to form national associations of women judges in countries that do not have them. They also agreed to hold an annual rotational conference on gender violence

During his keynote speech on Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga said despite strict and punitive legislation, the challenge of GBV still persists in Kenya.

He said the majority of the cases are unreported mainly because if stigma.

Chairperson of Kenya Women Judges Association Justice Hannah Okwengu said judges are appalled by the increasing number of cases of gender-based violence.

The group undertook to carry out sustained advocacy to curb sexual and gender violence.