, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – A new report released on Sunday has brought a fresh twist to gender violence after revealing that about 60 percent of Kenyan women admit to battering their husbands.
The report by the Maendeleo ya Wanaume Lobby group also indicated that 1.5 million men across the country were victims of domestic violence.
"This is mainly to do with financial stability where the man is financially unstable and you will find that the woman is the breadwinner. The man is disrespected and abused but has no choice but to stay in the relationship," the organisations Chairman Njoka Nderitu said.
The survey conducted in 40 districts across the country also showed that Central Province led the list of regions that had a majority of women battering their husbands with 72 percent of the men in the province admitting to being victims of domestic violence.
Nairobi province followed with 60 percent, Nyanza, Rift Valley and North Eastern recorded 58, 40 and nine percent respectively.
"Areas like the Coast, Western, Eastern and Central Rift Valley, the residents fear to talk although there are cases reported in police stations, few of the cases go beyond the police station and the clan members are the ones who handle such cases," Mr Njoka said.
The report also indicated that 39 percent of the current and former male politicians were found to have been battered by their wives.
"The report also shows that 15 percent of women have private bedrooms where their husbands have no access," Mr Njoka said.
The groups General Secretary Fredrick Wambugu Mwangi said: "Many of the men are afraid to speak up because the society will laugh at them and they don’t want to be the laughing stock."
The survey conducted between August 2008 and April 2009 also showed that out of every 100 cases of domestic violence reported, 48 of them involved men.
The campaigns to protect the rights of women and the girl child have been blamed for the rise in domestic violence against men.
"It has also been revealed that men have little say on issues that concern conjugal rights in their relationships. It is women who determine this," Mr Njoka said.
However the General Secretary noted that some men have become subject to physical abuse by their wives because they have neglected their role as breadwinners in their family.
"Other reasons include consumption of cheap and illegal liquor, bhang and other illegal drugs which weaken men, contribute to their impotence and inactiveness," Mr Mwangi said.