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President Kenyatta chairs his Cabinet on September 10, 2020. /PSCU.

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Cabinet approves Inter-Agency Program on Gender-Based Violence during COVID

NAIROBI, Kenya Sept 11 – The government will roll out an Inter-Agency Programme to prevent Gender-Based Violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is after Cabinet gave its approval noting that there had been a marked uptick in undesirable social challenges, including domestic violence, GBV and violations of the rights of children.

State House said the Cabinet, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, underscored that Kenya’s heritage and social values situate the family as the most valued asset in society with children as the “guarantor of our future”.

“In that regard, Cabinet approved the establishment of toll-free hotlines and various online and mobile applications that would enable anonymous reporting of all incidents of Gender-Based Violence and all instances of abuse of Children’s Rights,” State House Spokeswoman Kanze Dena said in a statement.

Recent studies show an upsurge in home violence in what was partly blamed on prolonged curfew, lockdowns and the resultant confinement which have also affected the country’s economy since March.

During his July 6 address on the COVID-19 situation in the country, President Kenyatta directed the National Crime Research Centre to investigate escalating cases of gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, and violation of children’s rights.

The President said he was concerned at the increased cases of family disputes, since March when he directed stringent COVID-19 containment measures and directed the agency to prepare an advisory to security agencies on remedial action and initiate immediate prosecution of all violators.

“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 said.

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